The first 1000 days of life is considered a golden period, starting from the time the fetus is formed until the child reaches 2 years of age, which greatly determines the child’s development later. Taking care of your child’s nutrition and mental well-being during this time helps form the best foundation for children to grow up, healthy and smart. So what is the diet for children in the first 1000 days of life?
1. How important is nutrition for children in the first 1000 days of life?
The first 1000 days of a baby’s life In medicine, it is calculated as the time from the beginning of conception until the child is born to reach 2 years of age. So why is this period considered to be the most important time for a person’s development, determining happiness, health and success in the future?
These are the first years when a fetus develops from a fertilized egg containing only genetic material from the mother and father until it becomes an adult fetus and is born. Followed by the first 2 years of life, when children get used to food, the environment and the surroundings in life, also continue to perfect their immune system, grow physically quickly.
If children in the first 1000 days of life are well taken care of in terms of nutrition and spirit, they will have the best health foundation, ensuring a healthy and developing adult future. In addition, these children will have a good immune system, preventing common and dangerous diseases such as diarrhea, tuberculosis, pneumonia, etc.
In contrast, children in the first 1000 days of life without good care, poor nutrition, children are prone to stunting, low birth weight, and poor intellectual development. This condition persists even into puberty, adulthood or old age, greatly affecting the future of children. This is what medicine as well as parents do not want, it contributes to reducing the quality of the human race.
2. Nutrition for children in the first 1000 days of life
With such an important role of Nutrition in the first 1000 days of a child’s life. What should mothers and caregivers be aware of? Here are some important notes to ensure adequate nutrition for children during these special stages of this early life.
2.1. Nutrition for the fetus in the womb
The 40-week pregnancy period is a difficult but happy time, the first step in the 1000-day journey of bringing up a child to develop comprehensively. At this time, pregnant mothers need to pay special attention to a full diet, so that nutrition can be transmitted to the baby enough for a healthy baby, good immunity, healthy development in the womb and at birth.
In addition to the main nutrients in the meal, which are fat, protein, starch, vitamins and minerals, it is necessary to add the following important nutrients:
Omega-3: Omega-3 is an indispensable nutrition for pregnant women, fish oil should be added to the menu 1-2 times per week or supplemented from fatty fish sources such as tuna, mackerel, fish back…
Vitamin supplements: Pregnant women should get from 0.005 mg of Vitamin D per day from these nutrient-rich foods. Fish oil, eggs, and dairy products can be used to supplement vitamins with calcium and other nutrients
Folic acid: Folic acid participates in the process of nerve formation and intellectual development in children, so this nutrition should not be ignored during pregnancy.
Calcium: Pregnant women are recommended to supplement with 3 servings of milk per day from yogurt, drinking milk, cheese, etc.
Iron: Pregnant women should eat 2 iron-rich meals per day such as eggs, beans, chicken, beef, fish, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Vegetables: Should have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day during pregnancy.
2.2. Nutrition while breastfeeding
During the first 1000 days of life, breastfeeding and other external sources of milk play a role of fortification of nutrition, helping children have nutrition and immunity directly without much digestion through available breast milk. In addition, children also receive many good antibodies from their mothers, helping them to prevent dangerous diseases that increase the mortality rate in babies after birth.
Experts recommend that pregnant mothers should not stop breastfeeding before the first 6 months of life, it is best to extend breastfeeding until the child is 2 years old. Good nutrition during this breastfeeding period plays a very important role, helping children have good health, absorb good knowledge, reduce the risk of cancer and other dangerous diseases.
Breastfeeding mothers need to eat enough, should not be too cautious, leading to nutritional deficiencies in lactation. In addition to food eaten daily, breastfed babies should add 1 drop of Vitamin D per day, water, fruits, foods that help increase milk production, etc., good for both mother and baby.
2.3. Nutrition for weaned babies
When children begin to wean from breast milk, good nutrition helps children form healthy eating habits early, avoiding nutritional disruptions that lead to growth retardation. Babies will start eating solid foods in combination with breast milk when they are over 17 weeks old, no later than 26 weeks old. In addition, it is advisable to process a variety of weaning foods, pureed soft foods and rich in nutrients.
Parents should pay attention to choosing weaning foods for weaned children to have a variety of nutrients, to meet the needs of development, especially pay attention to giving children a strong diet of fruits and vegetables so that children will not anorexic in the future. choose. At this time, the child no longer receives many immune antigens from the mother, so it is necessary to supplement from an external source to ensure the child’s resistance with probiotics, colostrum or Immune Alpha, etc.
In addition to forging children the habit of eating 3 meals a day, it is necessary to pay attention to diverse foods to supplement micronutrients that are easily deficient such as Vitamin D, calcium, iron, Omega 3, Vitamin D, etc.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.