Parents are offered a wealth of information when it comes to nutrition for their growing infants. Not everything out there is factual—and that’s where we come in. Here are 3 common nutrition myths and the truths behind them.
Babies can never consume too much fat
Fat is essential to a baby’s healthy growth. It’s particularly important for brain and eye development. This leads some parents to think that fat is the most significant food group for their little one. However, just like adults, babies can consume too much fat.
Too much fat in your baby’s diet can lead to problems in development later on. For example, babies on the higher end of the body mass index may be at a developmental disadvantage when it comes to learning physical tasks like walking. Eating too many fatty foods could also mean that your baby isn’t getting enough vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables and grains.
Additionally, when your baby starts on solids, they begin to form eating habits and taste preferences. If your baby eats primarily fatty foods, they are predisposed to favor those foods in the future. Introduce them to vegetables, fruits and healthy grains early on. Parents shouldn’t worry about setting strict limits on more nutritious fatty foods like salmon and avocado, but they should consider all the nutritional needs of their baby when planning meals. Even in infancy, balance and moderation are important.
Babies should start with fruit
Babies are born loving foods that taste sweeter. But getting them used to sweets from the start might discourage them from accepting veggies or other foods with a more bitter taste. Start with orange vegetable purees, such as carrot or sweet potato puree, which are inherently sweeter. Then move toward green veggies, and finally fruit. This progression can help your baby develop a more diverse palate from the start. Treat fruit as a complement to a mainly veggie dish rather than serving fruit as the one and only course.
Babies should only drink whole milk until they’re 2 years old
It’s been said that babies should start on whole milk at 12 months and drink it exclusively until they’re 2 years old. This is because whole milk aids in brain and eye development, which is crucial during this stage in your child’s life.
Whole milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D and minerals, but it does contain more fat than other milk options. If your baby has been trending on a higher weight trajectory, it’s worth considering another milk option that has less fat and fewer calories. Also, your baby’s diet becomes diversified at 12 months, which means that they can get the nutritional benefits of whole milk from other foods. Overall, whole milk isn’t necessary to ensure your baby’s healthy development as long as they eat varied meals that can meet their nutritional needs.
There will always be conflicting advice on what is best for your baby’s health. One thing we know is true: keep everything in moderation. This means creating a balance between healthy fats, veggies, fruits and milk. It’s important to feed your baby foods containing the vitamins and minerals essential to their healthy development. And remember, every baby is different, so their diets should be too!
If you have questions about feeding your baby, we’re here to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.