The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new policy statement this year stressing the importance of nutrition on developing brains. Specifically, the first 1,000 days of development, which begins with good maternal nutrition and ends with the child’s second birthday, are critical for neurodevelopment. This critical time can affect children for the rest of their lives. Lack of nutrients can lead to lower IQs, neurological delays and obesity.
Some keys to success for the first 1,000 days:
- Expectant mothers should speak to their doctors about key nutrients and ensure they are eating a healthy diet.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, then adding in solid foods while continuing to breastfeed until at least the child’s first birthday.
- According to the USDA, children 1-3 years of age should be offered servings of grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein on a daily basis. Speak to your pediatrician about the proper nutrition for your toddler.