Every 5 years, experts reporting to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conduct research on how people’s diet affects health in the long term. As a result of the last of them, they proposed new recommendations on feeding babies from birth to 2 years of age.
«Infants should avoid eating and drinking with added sugar for the first 2 years of life,» the committee said. Experts have established a link between the consumption of sugar-containing semi-finished products and overweight or obesity both in infancy and in the future. And since almost 70 percent of added sugars come from foods such as sweetened beverages, desserts, sweet snacks, breakfast cereals and bars, it’s better to give them up altogether.
Breast milk is the best food
The study found that breastfeeding reduces the risk of being overweight or obese, type 1 diabetes and asthma. But rapid weight gain was more likely among children fed with mixtures than those who were fed by their mothers. «Perhaps because of the higher protein intake of the mixture or because of over-feeding, so as not to throw away the remaining mixture,» the scientists said.
It is better to postpone solid food for up to 4 months
Studies have shown that starting solid food intake by an infant earlier than the four-month threshold is associated with an increased risk of obesity at the age of 2 to 12 years. This problem is especially relevant for children who are on artificial feeding, who may not be able to control their «feeling of satiety».
Peanuts and eggs should be introduced into the bait as early as possible
Researchers have found that feeding peanuts and eggs «according to age» after 4 months can reduce the risk of food allergies. At this stage, no harm was found in the introduction of such potentially allergic products.
Pay attention to foods rich in iron and zinc
Experts recommend that parents of infants feed them foods such as meat rich in iron and zinc during the second six months of their life. It is worth paying attention to other products enriched with iron, for example, porridge. Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish, fish oil, vegetable oil, nuts and seeds also play an important role in brain development.
Feeding babies from 0 to 2 years old not only contributes to long—term health, but also helps shape taste preferences and food choices.