Categories: Nutrition and diet

Improving nutrition in first 1000 days

Every year, the entire month of September is being celebrated as Nutrition month. This year, the theme is Rashtriya POSHAN MAHH and it focuses on the Prevention of Malnutrition & 1st 1000 Days.

The first 1000 days refers to the period that begins with pregnancy planning and goes up to when the child reaches her/his second birthday.

Why the first 1000 days really matter??

The care & nourishment for the first 1000 days (from conception until 2 years) has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow learn & thrive. Foundation for their lifelong health is built on certain building blocks. They are:

  • Nutritious (Balanced) diet for Mother during PREGNANCY –

This ensures good brain development, healthy birth weight for the baby & reduces the risk of anemia among mothers. So, a mother should include additional amounts of foods rich in folic acid, iron, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12 & protein.

  • Exclusive Breastfeeding during the FIRST SIX MONTHS –

Breast milk uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of a growing baby & it enhances the baby’s immunity.

  • Introduction of COMPLIMENTARY/WEANING foods at SIX MONTHS –

A weaning food must be:

  1. Locally available, culturally acceptable & prepared at home as it
  2. Help to address the micro-nutrient gap & energy
  3. Helps baby more towards an adult diet
  4. Helps develop food preferences

While weaning baby:

  1. Right time/frequency
  2. Adequate amount
  3. Appropriate diversity (in taste, texture, flavor & color)
  4. Safe& hygiene
  5. Low in salt, sugar & spices
  6. Start cow milk only after one year
  7. Introduce one new food at a time
  8. Avoid whole nuts as choking hazard

6-8 months:

  • Wean 2 times a day along with breastfeeding
  • Weaning food must be in a puree/semi-solid form (rice, dal, carrot, apple, banana, etc).

9-12 months:

  • Wean three times a day along with breastfeeding
  • Start all food groups (cereals, pulses, all types of vegetables, fruits, egg, fish, poultry) in semi-solid/solid consistency. Eg: Kichidi, mashed potato, boiled egg, etc. growing baby & it enhances baby’s immunity.

12-24 months (1-2 yrs):

  • Introduce three meals a day + 1-2 healthy snacks in between along with breastfeeding
  • Introduce finger foods (pick up with thumb & finger) solid form
  • Discourage chips, cookies/biscuits, soft drinks, fruit-flavoured drinks & unhealthy fat-rich foods, etc.

“Journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step’’.

Dr. Emmany D R | Senior Dietician – Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics | Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra

Narayana Health

Recent Posts

Endocrine Hypertension: Common yet under reported cause of Hypertension

Hypertension affects around 25% of the population worldwide this every 1 in 4 adults have…

5 days ago

Different Signs of Heart Attack in Men & Women

85% of heart damage occurs in the first two hours following a heart attack. Such…

1 week ago

Understanding Radiation in Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy is the use of high energy rays to damage cancer cells DNA &…

1 week ago

Physical Growth of Infants & Children and the milestones

Your Child’s Growth & Developmental Milestones Children are a great source of happiness for their…

1 week ago

Ovarian Cysts

A fluid-filled sac or pocket in an ovary or on its surface is called ovarian…

1 week ago

Women & Heart Diseases

Heart disease isn’t just a single disease but refers to a group of conditions that…

1 week ago