BEST FOODS FOR BABIES’ BRAINS
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) this month issued a set of recommendations for foods that ensure healthy brain development in babies’ first 1,000 days. And we’re pleased to report that Little Foodie Club’s ethos of providing meal plans that offer a varied range of healthy ingredients is completely inline with the AAP’s guidelines.
In the guidelines, the AAP’s Committee on Nutrition says that certain nutrients – including protein, zinc, iron, folate, certain vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids – are critical for healthy brain development. Diets lacking these nutrients can lead to lifelong issues in brain function, it adds.
Dr. Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and member of the AAP Committee on Nutrition, says: “Infants’ brains are developing at a rapid pace between one and two years, so we want pediatricians to be recommending a healthy spectrum of foods and not simply telling parents to give their babies certain foods. We want to make a positive statement about providing lean meats and fruits and vegetables.”
She adds that the AAP wants to “push back on the idea of superfoods” as “no single food can provide babies with the variety of nutrients they need”.
Finally, Schwarzenberg says that while it’s easier to feed babies their favorite foods, she says it’s important to make sure they’re eating a range of healthy foods. “We all have a tendency to pick one or two things the child likes and not stray too much from them,” she explains. “But if you are really looking to developing good brain health, then you really have to look at a variety of foods.”