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.

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 on what they should be eating.

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

Every Bite Counts is the theme for the guidelines, so what do the guidelines suggest?

  • 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 old:
    • 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
    • Caffeinated beverages and other sugar-sweetened drinks (i.e. sports not, flavored water) should not be given until after age 2.

A few other tips that may be helpful:

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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