Healthy Tip Tuesday- Dietary Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers

Did you know that for the first-time babies and toddlers have been included in the updated dietary food guidelines? Read on to learn more about what this means for you and your child.

This weeks’ Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Hospital Twin City.

Every five years the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) updates the dietary guidelines for children and adults. This includes the daily number of fruits and vegetables, guidance on sodium and sugar intake, and a variety of other nutrition-related recommendations. The USDA assesses and revises the guidelines every five years. The 2020-2025 guidelines were recently released, and for the first-time babies and toddlers were given recommendations.

Every Bite Counts for our little ones, so what do the guidelines suggest we feed them?

  • Birth to 6 months:
    • Exclusively give breastmilk or iron-fortified formula
  • At 6 months:
    • Introduce infants to nutrient-dense foods
    • Present potentially high allergen foods such as peanuts and eggs
    • Encourage foods rich in zinc and iron and from all food groups
    • Limit foods and beverages higher in sodium
  • 6 months to 2 years:
    • Avoid higher sodium foods
    • Steer clear of foods with added sugars (such as cakes, cookies, and candies)
    • Avoid honey and unpasteurized foods and beverages
    • Increase water intake and establish healthy beverage pattern
    • After age 1 year old a child may have 100% fruit juice
    • No caffeinated beverages or other sugar-sweetened drinks (i.e. sports drinks, flavored water)

A few other tips that may be helpful, contact your child’s primary care doctor for further discussion, every child’s situation is unique. If you or your child struggles with diabetes Twin City Hospital is here to provide support services. Also, reading the food labels to know how much sugar or sodium is in a food you are giving to your child, and making mealtime fun for the whole family!

While we are not always perfect, and our kids may have cookies sometimes, remember these are the guidelines and recommendations. Not every mom will be able to breastfeed, just like not every caregiver will feel comfortable giving a 6-month-old peanut butter and that is all okay.

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