In the time between your baby’s conception and their fifth birthday, they are going to go through almost uncountable changes. They are going to develop an entire human brain out of nowhere, and then use that brain to dream, develop circadian rhythms, and learn a whole new language (their first one!). They will double, then triple their birth weight, and then actually slow down growing long enough to work on their coordination for walking, running, jumping, and even holding a pencil. And all of these great big achievements are going to be fueled the same list of important nutrients.
- Protein: Protein is an important building block for most of the things little bodies need so they can grow – muscles, blood, internal organs, and bones
- Folate: Folate is an MVP during pregnancy and beyond because it’s needed for making DNA and for helping cells divide.
- Calcium: Calcium is pretty well-known for being needed for strong, healthy bones, and with the rate that babies and toddlers (and their bones!) grow, that calcium is definitely needed. Calcium is also needed for that pearly-white smile your little one will have once they get all their teeth by around age two and a half.
- Iron: Iron is needed for making red blood cells, which carry oxygen all through the body.
- Healthy fats: Fats have a bad reputation, but the healthy ones are important for absorbing nutrients, making hormones, regulating body temperature, and cell growth.
- And many more: From carbs and fiber to the A-Z of vitamins the body needs, to the countless undiscovered micronutrients which may be an important part of nutrition, there is a whole rainbow of nutrients out there to help your little one grow as strong and healthy as possible.
The goal of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is to make sure that all children in the U.S. get the same access to these important nutrients, and more families are eligible for this benefit than you might think – in 2014, almost 62% of all infants in the U.S. were eligible for WIC. To see if your family might be eligible for WIC benefits, tap the button below to visit their website.