“You are what you eat” – also applies to babies (even those not yet conceived…)
Good nutrition is the most valuable gift any mother can give her child – even before the child is conceived. Yes, mother’s pre-conception diet will impact on many aspects of the unborn or not yet conceived child’s development. Providing good nutrition is an essential ongoing process that needs to continue through those first precious months of a newborn’s life, through childhood and right up until a mother no longer has a say – except perhaps to offer advice when her children have children of their own one day…
Some interesting facts about food, nutrition and babies
The nutritional status of women, (being too thin or too fat or just right, food choices, habitual dieting, nutrient intake profile etc.) will affect the unborn children.
Food choices during pregnancy influence the unborn child’s health status later in life. The brain and nervous system is especially vulnerable to the influence of specific nutrients during pregnancy. A good example is Omega 3 fatty acids which influences visual development and nervous system development of the unborn child.
Food choices during pregnancy influence a child’s experience of food– yes – they can ‘taste’ and are affected by the foods the mother eats. That means, when mother includes many different types of fruit or vegetables, the unborn child may become a little more familiar with all the different flavours they will have to try once they start to eat these foods themselves.
Food choices during breastfeeding influences milk composition and hence the provision of nutrients to babies. Breastfed babies are also exposed to the different flavours of the foods their mothers eat – preparing them for potential food likes and dislikes.
Food choices during weaning and when foods are introduced have a direct effect on taste perception and food likes and dislikes.
One’s perception of food flavours; i.e. how sweet foods are, how fatty, how salty and all other food factors that form part of food likes and dislikes, preferences and selection – is closely linked to what one eats when one is very, very small.
What one is exposed to during the first few months of life may influence whether one perceives fruit as being sweet enough or in need of more sweetness, salt as being salty enough etc. This will impact on the food selections people make for the rest of their lives.
Mothers and fathers that take the decision to follow the GOOD NUTRITION ROUTE for their children are in for a long haul indeed.
Whether a person is fortunate enough to be exposed to these vital truths about nutrition early on in life –or somewhere in the middle – the benefits of good nutrition are unrivalled by any other gift a parent can ever give their child – except of course love!
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