Early life (fetus, infants) is a critical period of nervous system development, this stage of diet nutrition has a significant impact on the child’s intelligence. However, it is difficult to examine or evaluate whether a fetus or infant is smart enough objectively, this problem is thus not studied in depth and not enough attention is paid. In contrast, the observation and evaluation of child’s physical development (length, weight, whether there are deformities, etc.) is easier, and has caught the attention of the medical professional and the public. Some of the preliminary studies have found that the following intake of some nutrients is particularly essential for the early development of children’s life.
Protein is the basis of life, it is very important for the fetus, infants and young children’s mental development and physical development. Pregnant women should consume about 80 grams of protein per day. Proteins from fish and eggs and soy products, high-quality protein should account for about 40 grams. This means that pregnant women should drink 300 to 500 milliliters of milk or yogurt every day, 100 grams of meat (fish and poultry), 1 egg and 100 grams of tofu (or equivalent soy products). Infants and young children should feed on breast milk (the highest quality protein) otherwise should use formula milk. Ensure egg yolk, meat and other high protein food intake.
The key role of folate in the nervous system is in weeks 2 to 9 of embryonic development. Adequate intake of folate at this stage is very important. To ensure that the first 2 weeks (at this time women were often not found in pregnancy) have sufficient folate intake, people want to be pregnant should consume more folate. Animal liver, green leafy vegetables etc. are rich in folate. It is generally recommended to take folate supplements (400 to 600 micrograms per day) because folate utilization in natural foods is far less synthetic than folic acid.
Iron is the key raw material for synthetic hemoglobin, a key carrier in the blood responsible for transporting oxygen. Iron deficiency caused by a lack of iron in the diet can cause brain anemia in fetal or infant. Pregnant women should consume 25 mg of iron per day. Iron-rich foods are mainly lean meat, animal liver, animal blood, egg yolk, soy sauce with iron, flour or milk powder with iron. For pregnant women, you can also consume more vitamin C to help iron absorption.
Iodine is the key raw material for the synthesis of thyroid hormones; thyroid hormone is one of the main hormones in charge of metabolism. Like iron, iodine has an important role on the fetus, infants and young children’s physical and physical development. Iodine deficiency will have catastrophic consequences for the child’s IQ. The iodized salt is the best and sufficient source of iodine.
DHA is a special polyunsaturated fatty acid (C22: 6, n-3). It is directly involved in the composition of nerve tissue, and important for brain development. There will be no obvious symptoms when people have DHA deficiency. Main food sources of DHA are fish, seafood and breast milk, added DHA formula or pregnant women milk powder, and fish oil health products. When pregnant women lack fish and seafood in their diet, they can choose added DHA pregnant women milk or fish oil health products as supplements. In general, infants and young children should consume 200 to 500 mg of DHA per day and pregnant women should have 500 to 1500 mg of DHA per day.