• +91 99300 74447 / +91 98207 37677
Nutrition for First 1000 Days
  • Arati Shah

  • 24, Aug. 2020

Nutrition for First 1000 Days

The period between conception upto a child’s second birthday is referred to as the first 1000 days.These 1000 days are a unique window of opportunity to build a foundation for optimum growth and development for life. Malnutrition during this period is linked to various health issues including stunted growth and even obesity. A prenatal nutrition program can help a pregnant woman eat better and healthier. Similarly, during weaning, a child nutritionist will be able to guide the mother with the appropriate foods for the baby. 

Role of nutrition during these essential 1000 days: 

Nutrition during pregnancy and early childhood provides the fuel for the child to grow, develop, learn and prosper. Adequate nutrition during this period has a profound effect on the health of the mother and child. If the mother during pregnancy is not well nourishedit leads to improper growth of the foetus brain leading to developmental delays and even birth defects – which can be irreversable. In fact, the baby’s brain continues to grow rapidly even after birth and good nutrition plays a significant role in it. On the other hand over nutrition in the first 1000 days can set the stage for conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc in later life. So, parents play a crucial role in offering good health to their child – both before and after birth. 

Foods for the golden 1000 days of life: 

The first step is to have a well nourished pregnancy with a balanced diet of whole grains, cooked lean meat and meat products, beans and lentils, milk and milk products, fresh vegetables, whole fruits and valuable fats. Special focus should be given to iron, folate, calcium and essential fatty acids. Appropriate nutrition helps maintain the nutritional status of the mother and developing foetus.  

The next is providing the perfect nutrition after birth which is none other than mother’s milk. Breast milk for the first 6 months provides all the nutrients, growth factors, antibodies and hormones that support early brain development. Post that, ‘weaning foods’ become important as breast milk is insufficient for the infant’s growth. Weaning also enables the baby to experiment with different tastes and textures useful for future life.  

At the start of 1st year, family diet patterns can be introduced as by this time child learns to sit independently, develops motor skills, can chew different textures and can eat independently. This is when food preferences and eating patterns develop.  

So, to give your baby the best start in life, its important that mothers eat a healthy diet during pregnancy, breast feeds her baby well and helps build healthy eating habits during the weaning stage and beyond with the right complimentary foods. This can be achieved by enrolling in a prenatal program with a qualified nutritionist.