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Nutrition Library: Children and Nutrition

Nutritional Guidelines



What your child eats is very important for his or her health. Follow the nutrition guidelines below.

0-2 Years Old:

  • Breast milk is the best single food for infants from birth to 6 months of age. It provides good nutrition and protects against infection. Breast feeding should be continued for at least the first year if possible.
  • If breast feeding is not possible or not desired, iron-enriched formula (not cow's milk) should be used during the first 12 months of life. Whole cow's milk can be used to replace formula or breast milk after 12 months of age.
  • Breast-fed babies, particularly if dark-skinned, who do not get regular exposure to sunlight may need to receive Vitamin D supplements.
  • Begin suitable solid foods at 4-6 months of age. Most experts recommend iron-enriched infant rice cereal as the first food.
  • Start new foods one at a time to make it easier to identify problem foods. For example, wait one week before adding each new cereal, vegetable or other food.
  • Use iron-rich foods, such as meats, iron-enriched cereals and other grains.
  • Do not give honey to infants during the first 6 to 12 months of life.
  • Do not limit fat during the first 2 years of life.

 

2 Years and Older:

  • Provide a variety of foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Use salt (sodium) and sugars in moderation.
  • Encourage a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • Help your child maintain a healthy weight by providing proper foods and encouraging regular exercise.

Reprinted with permission from the U.S. Dept. of Public Health and Human Services





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