The First 1000 Days - The Importance of Nutrition

July 28, 2021 3 min read

From conception to their second birthday, the first 1000 days is a critical time when your baby’s brain, body, and immune system grows and develops significantly. 

Getting enough calories, proteins, and nutrients will have a profound effect on their growth and thriving future. Whereas poor nutrition during this time can lead to challenges with your child’s growing brain that can potentially lead to chronic diseases or other health problems during their lifetime. Stick with us as we break down the importance of nutrition in the first 1000 days.

Breaking Down The First 1000 Days

  • During Pregnancy
  • The wellbeing of mother and child is linked during pregnancy, and a healthy baby starts with a healthy mother. Lifestyle habits, diet, and physical and mental wellbeing all have an effect on the longtime health of your baby including their immune system, metabolism, and brain and organ development. 

  • During Infancy
  • Breastfeeding during infancy provides unparalleled benefits when it comes to brain development and lifelong health benefits. Filled with nutrients and proteins, breastmilk builds your little one’s immunity, lowers their risk for disease, and gives them the best start. That’s why the AAP supports exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4-6 months. If human milk is unavailable, infants should be fed an iron-fortified infant formula.

  • Early Childhood
  • Continuing healthy food intake is critical to the growth and development of your child. Diet diversity, including introduction and routine feeding of common food allergens, is critical during this window of opportunity to help shape long-term health. These include baby snacks like fruits and vegetables, protein-rich foods, iron-rich foods, and whole grains. 

    What Should Your Baby Eat During Their First 1,000 Days?

    To ensure healthy growth, babies will need nutrients and proteins such as iron, calcium, fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc, and folate. While pregnant, a mother’s diet should be filled with varied and nutritious foods. In infancy, breastmilk, or formula, is essential in continuing their growth. Once they are ready to try solids, here are some important foods to consider: 

  • Varied Tastes and Textures
  • Encourage your baby to try different flavors, textures, and tastes. This is an important step in building a diverse, adventurous eater. Don’t know what to feed your little one? Steamed vegetables, soft fruits, shredded cheese, plain yogurt, scrambled eggs, and avocado are always good options.

  • Most Common Allergens
  • The AAP and USDA recommend introducing common allergens, like eggs, shellfish, wheat, and nuts, around 4-6 months of age. Introducing a variety of diverse foods can help guide the immune system by training it to recognize potentially allergenic foods as safe. Making early allergen introduction easy, consistent, and safe, SpoonfulONE baby snacks eliminates the fear, confusion, and guesswork out of introducing the 9 food groups most commonly associated with food allergies.

  • Protein and Iron-Rich Foods
  • Important for child growth and development, protein-rich foods include lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, and nuts. Before feeding, make sure your child shows the correct signs of readiness. Also, be aware of choking hazards and be sure to mash or puree meats. When introducing nuts or peanuts, be sure to read our guide on best practices. 

    Set Your Child Up For A Thriving Future

    The Bottom Line:Stretching from conception to their second birthday, the first 1000 days is a critical time in the growth and development of your baby. Their body and mind are growing, and these years set the foundation for healthy lifelong habits. 

    That’s why we’re here to help support your child with the strong start they need for a thriving future. At SpoonfulONE, we make allergen feeding safe and easy with precisely portioned amounts of the 16 foods associated with over 90% of food allergies.