Baby Needs Nutrition

By Editorial Staff

A baby's life starts with mother's milk and then transitions into healthy soft foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.) – you know, the kind available at the supermarket in small jars, or made at home with a food processor. However, for too many, by age 1 (or even sooner) a baby's diet includes excess sugar, processed foods and more that can compromise health soon thereafter. In fact, according to new research, a baby's diet at age 1 can predict their risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during childhood and early adulthood.

Researchers evaluated data from two population studies involving 81,000-plus 1-year-olds, asking parents about their children's diets at 12-18 months of age, and again at 30-36 months of age. A higher-quality diet meant higher intake of vegetables, fruit, dairy products and fish; a lower-quality diet meant higher intake of meat, sweets, snacks and sugar-sweetened drinks.

baby - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Diagnosis with IBD (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or an unclassified IBD) during childhood / young adulthood was associated with lower intake of fish and vegetables, and higher intake of sugary beverages. Specifically, according to research findings, " High fish intake at age 1 year, compared to a low intake, was associated with a 54% lower risk of ulcerative colitis. High vegetable intake at 1 year of age was associated with an overall reduced IBD risk. High intake of sugar beverages, compared to a low intake, was accompanied by a 42% increased risk of IBD."

Diet quality at 3 years of age was not associated with IBD risk, suggesting that early diet (age 1) is critical when it comes to gut health. So start your baby off right with the right nutrition. Talk to your health care team for more information.

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