This infographic is an overview of the first 1000 days, the time period from the first day of pregnancy right up to a child’s second birthday. Scientists believe that nutrition during this critical time can determine a child’s health, cognitive ability and physical development for the rest of their lives. The infographic is broken down into 3 stages including the 270 days of pregnancy, 365 days of a baby’s first year and the next 365 days of toddlerhood.
During pregnancy, your diet can programme your baby’s genes forever. Some key things to remember are to take a 400µg folic acid supplement prior to pregnancy and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects and also to include Vitamin D rich foods and a supplement to help aid calcium absorption. The other thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to eat for two! You only need an extra 350 calories a day in your second trimester and an extra 500 calories per day in your third trimester.
Once your baby is born, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of baby’s life and to continue up to 2 years and beyond along with suitable solid foods. While breastfeeding, it is important for mum to eat a healthy balanced diet. Weaning onto solids should begin at about 6 months of age and not before 17 weeks. Including a variety of healthy foods will help to set baby up with good eating habits for life.
Toddlers are still growing rapidly and have individual nutritional needs – they are not mini adults! Foods high in salt, processed foods and nuts should all be avoided. Iron is essential to support brain development and leafy green veg, red meat and chicken are all good sources. Vitamin D is also essential so include sources such as oily fish and eggs.
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