The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a number of challenges into our lives, especially for students who are parents. With fewer trips to the grocery store—and finding items missing from the shelves or unavailable online—meeting our babies’ and older kids’ nutritional needs has become even more problematic.
Nutrition expert Victoria Lee has been kind enough to answer some questions about feeding babies and kids during the pandemic. She has an M.S. in nutrition from Colorado State University, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Counselor with Boulder County Public Health’s Child Health Promotion Program.
Victoria co-coordinates the Healthy Eating and Active Living 5 2 1 0 Program, Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Program, Farm to Early Care and Education and Cooks Circle for child care providers in Boulder County and has specialized in nutrition from birth through early childhood for the past 11 years.
Is it safe to dilute formula with milk or water, or make homemade formula for my infant?
- No, it is not safe to dilute formula or make your own.
- Use the amount of water listed on the instructions of the infant formula container. Always measure the water first and then add the powder.
- Too much water may not meet the nutritional needs of your baby.
- Too little water may cause your baby’s kidneys and digestive system to work too hard and may cause your baby to become dehydrated.
Can I give my baby water or extra water?
- Babies usually do not need extra water. (Reason: Regular formula is 85% water.)
- Too much water can cause seizures.
- You can offer some water if weather is very hot.
- Don’t give more than four ounces (120 mL) of extra water per day. Limit extra water during the first six months of life. (Exception: Don’t give any during the first month.)
- After starting solid foods, babies need more water.
Is it safe to breastfeed during a pandemic?
Breastfeeding protects against disease in infancy and childhood. Mothers pass antibodies and other immunological compounds to their babies through breast milk. According to the CDC, COVID-19 has not been detected in breast milk, however studies are very limited at this time. Below is a list of reliable resources.
Is it safe to make baby food at home?
Yes, it is safe to make your own baby food at home. Here is a great article from nutrition writer, Jill Weisenberger about How to Make Homemade Baby Food.
Older Children’s Nutrition
How can I make sure that my older kids are eating healthy and that I’m staying within our budget?
This two-week menu kit from the University of Minnesota Extension takes the guesswork out of buying and making low cost, healthy meals for a two-week period. It can be adjusted for more people and recipes are easy to prepare. The kit includes sample menus, shopping lists and recipes.
Additional Resources for Boulder County Families
Please see the FRCC website for all updates about the college’s response to COVID-19, available services, FAQs and more. More information and contact information for personal counseling and stress management through Front Range can be found here.
We’re all in this together. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your advisors or faculty. For questions about additional resources for students who are parents, please contact Maegan Vallejo at: Maegan.firstname.lastname@example.org.