Why are carbohydrates important?
Carbohydrates are extremely important for the normal growth of the body. This is true even in the case of children and infants. The body needs carbohydrates in order to produce energy. This very energy, which is derived from carbohydrates, helps to keep one active and also supports the normal growth of the body. A healthy carb intake ensures normal functioning of the digestive system as well as other organs in infants who grow at a very fast rate.
Carbohydrates also allow the protein in the body to be used efficiently for building up tissues.
Hence, there are several benefits of carbohydrates in infants, but the key is to feed the baby healthy carbs.
What is the meaning of good carbohydrate foods?
Good carbohydrate foods include complex carbohydrates which do not cause an instant rise in the blood sugar level. Bad carbs, which are basically empty calories, get digested too quickly are usually simple carbohydrates. These must not be given to infants or even older children since they have very low nutritional value, and they lead to an unwelcome, rapid spike in blood sugar levels.
What are some healthy sources of carbs?
The main source of carbohydrates for infants is breast milk, which contains lactose, a type of sugar. It is also an extremely important source of numerous nutrients like calcium, protein and carbohydrates.
Slightly older infants can improve their recommended daily intake of carbohydrates from sources like cereal, fruits and vegetables. Good choices of complex carbohydrate containing foods include potatoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, whole grains and beans. All beans make for complex carbohydrates, high fiber, and high protein. Breads made of oats, rye, and barley are preferable over white bread. Fruits with skins like peaches, pears, apples and berries are advisable. Infants who consume a healthy amount of breastmilk and foods that complement their carbohydrate intake will not be carbohydrate deficient.