Did you know that your child’s preferred tastes and some of their favorite flavors are established during the first months of life? Naturally, these preferences will change over time and as they try new things, but there are a few factors – like breastfeeding, what foods you offer first, and when you give them solid foods – that can help determine healthy eating habits.
A recent study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics found that infants and toddlers are still lacking proper nutrition in America. It was estimated that close to 60% of babies ages birth to 5 months were not breastfed. Now, not everyone chooses to breastfeed, which is fine, and some people simply are not able to, but 60% seems high. The AAP recommends a diet of only breast milk during the first 6 months of life. (again, it isn’t for everybody)
Researchers also found that the consumption of fruits and veggies were well below the recommended levels for toddlers. And for those kids that were getting their veggies in, it was found that the source wasn’t the best – ie, the kid ate a fried potato instead of some broccoli or lettuce.
One positive takeaway was that the consumption of fruit juices has decreased, especially among infants enrolled in WIC. (Government aid for nutrition)
So basically, parents need to step up their game and get better educated on what to feed their children. You should be consulting your pediatrician on nutritional matters.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics