Early Life Nutrition

Early life

nutrition
a critical window of opportunity

Recent scientific research indicates that a minority of a baby’s health is determined by the genes and the majority is influenced by the environment in early life, which you can positively influence, of which nutrition is an essential part.

The right nutrition from pre-conception, pregnancy, infancy and through to toddlerhood, can have a profound impact on a child’s development and long-term health.

Nutrition is one of the most easily modified environmental factors during early childhood and has been shown to strongly influence growth and development, as well as reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and allergy in later life.

This website provides information on the role of good early life nutrition as well as scientific recommendations from medical experts for maximising foetal and infant development which may help optimise health throughout childhood and into adult life.

Founded on evidence-based research on early life nutrition, these recommendations have been developed by a panel of expert physicians and scientists from across Australia and New Zealand.

Interact with the early life nutrition infographic and download the Early Life Nutrition Report Paper and Nurturing Your Child’s Future Health. 1. Gluckman P et al. Genome Med 2010 Feb 24; 2(2):14. 2. Ali. O. WJD 2013; 4(4):114–123. 3. Lillycrop. K Proc Nutr Soc 2011; 70:64–72. 4. Voight B et al. Nat Gen 2010; 42:579–589. 5. Hebebrand J et al. Obes Facts 2010; 3:294–303. 6. Waterland R et al. Ann Rev Nutr 2007; 27:363–388. †. Non communicable diseases

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Which stage are you interested in?

Pre-conception

excess weight

Reduce excess weight for both men and women

HEALTHY DIET AND LIFESTYLE

Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle and cease smoking

OPTIMISE HEALTH

Ensure any existing health conditions are being treated and well managed

IODINE

Supplement if planning to conceive

FOLIC ACID

Supplement at least a month before trying to conceive

Pregnancy

EXCESS WEIGHT

Maintain a healthy weight and monitor pregnancy weight gain

HEALTHY DIET AND LIFESTYLE

Continue a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as excluding smoking and alcohol

OPTIMISE HEALTH

Ensure any existing health conditions are being treated and well managed

IODINE

Continue to supplement

FOLIC ACID

Supplement during first trimester

OMEGA-3

Eat foods rich in
Omega-3 fatty acids

SPECIFIC MICRONUTRIENTS MATTER

Consume appropriate levels of key vitamins and minerals for foetal growth and development

MANAGE ENERGY INTAKE

Ensure adequate intake of protein and carbohydrates & moderate fat intake

BALANCED DIET

No need to avoid potential allergenic foods, unless a known allergy exists

PREBIOTICS + PROBIOTICS

Consume foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics

Birth – 6 months

BREAST FEEDING

Breast feed for as long as possible

IODINE SUPPLEMENTS

Supplement for the duration of breast feeding (for mother)

MANAGE ENERGY INTAKE

Ensure adequate energy intake while breast feeding (for mother)

BALANCED DIET

No need to avoid potential allergenic foods, unless a known allergy exists (for mother)

INTRODUCING SOLIDS

Start solids between 4 - 6 months while continuing to breast feed & include potential allergenic foods early

6-12 months

CONTINUE BREAST FEEDING

Maintain breast milk as main source of fluid for as long as possible, avoid cows’ milk

IRON

Feed iron rich foods

SOLID FOODS

Expand variety of tastes & textures

DEVELOP HEALTHY TASTES

When introducing solids avoid honey, added salt, sugar and excess saturated fat

1-3 years

WATER & PASTEURISED FULL CREAM MILK

Water & pasteurised full cream cows’ milk are recommended drinks

LIMIT SUGAR SWEETENED DRINKS AND JUICE

Limit sugar sweetened and fruit juice drinks

SMALL, FREQUENT AND NUTRITIOUS MEALS

Accommodate small stomachs and offer small frequent meals

LIMIT POOR NUTRIENT FOODS

Limit foods that are poor in nutrients, especially those that contain excess saturated fats, sugar and salt

POSITIVE EATING BEHAVIOURS

Demonstrate positive family unit eating behaviours – including during periods of pickiness

Nurturing Your Child's Future Health

More information

Learn more in our
Early Life Nutrition Report Paper
Early Life Nutrition Reportpdf Paper 20MB
Learn more in our
Nurturing Your Child’s Future Health
Nurturing your child’s future healthpdf Paper 2MB

For any enquiries email us at earlylifenutrition@danone.com