Most of the guidelines for feeding children are for those who are less than 6 months old or for those above 2 yrs. Hence Parents have often wondered what's best to feed their infants and toddlers who are 6 months to 24 months.
The Agricultural Research Service scientists at the USDA-ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) working at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, along with members of the American Dietetic Association and Gerber Food Products Company have developed the "Start Healthy Feeding Guidelines for Children Ages 0 to 24 Months."
The guideline topics include how to feed infants, Importance of physical activity and how to develop and improve skills on how to feed. It also has guidelines on food allergies and sensitivities. Nancy Butte, professor of pediatrics at Baylor and CNRC said, "We felt that there was a lot of information out there for when a child is first born, but there was really no concrete guidance for parents feeding children aged 6 to 24 months."
Nancy Butte and William Heird, also a professor of pediatrics at Baylor and CNRC, were part of the panel of leading pediatric experts who developed the new guidelines. Members on the panel discussed about the growing problem of childhood obesity. They also stressed the importance of better tools for communicating about the importance of healthy eating habits in early childhood.
The issued guidelines will complement and not replace similar guidelines that are available from early-feeding recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new guidelines will provide practical and useful recommendations based on scientifically evidence. This will certainly help parents in establishing healthy eating patterns during a child's infancy and toddler-hood. It is the right time for such a review as slowly inappropriate foods are entering children's diets at earlier ages than expected.