Here is Your Infant’s Carbohydrate Recommendations

Here is your infant’s Carbohydrate recommendation. Carbohydrates are an infant’s main fuel source, and essential for proper growth and development.

Offering your infant healthy, nutrient-dense carbohydrates will help optimize his growth and maintain a healthy body weight. Carbohydrates are present in a variety of infant foods, including breast milk and infant formulas.

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0 to 6 Months

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends infants exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life. Infant formula can be used in place of breast milk if mothers are unable to breastfeed. Carbohydrate RDAs have not been established for infants.

However, according to the Institute of Medicine, adequate intake levels equal 60 grams of carbohydrates per day for infants ages 0 to 6 months; adequate intake levels for infants are determined using the average carbohydrate intake for healthy, breastfed infants.

6 to 12 months

Starting at six months of age, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends adding complementary foods to your infant’s diet in addition to offering him breast milk or infant formula. The Institute of Medicine’s adequate intake level for carbohydrates is 95 grams per day for infants 7 to 12 months of age.

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Percent of Calories

The Institute of Medicine has not established an RDA or adequate intake level determining the percent of an infant’s calories that should come from carbohydrates. The Institute of Medicine suggests children ages 1 to 3 to consume 45 to 65 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates.

A review published in a July 2012 edition of the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” estimates that infants should consume a minimum of 40 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates. One gram of carbohydrates provides four calories.

Infant Diet

During the first six months of life, an infant will receive the carbohydrates he needs from breast milk or infant formula. MedlinePlus plus recommends offering infants starting from birth to 4 months of age 16 to 24 ounces, and giving infants ages 4 to 6 months 28 to 45 ounces of breast milk or formula each day.

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Six- to ten-month-old infants need 24 to 32 ounces, while babies ages 10 to 12 months old require 16 to 24 ounces of breast milk or formula each day.

Additional sources of carbohydrates for infants older than 6 months of age include strained or soft fruits, strained or cooked vegetables, infant cereals, whole-milk yogurt, cooked or strained legumes, crackers, cooked pasta and toast. Talk with your pediatrician before offering your infant any new food to make sure he’s developmentally ready.

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