Importance of the Appropriate Complementary Feeding

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Early dietary behavior, right from the complementary feeding period, influences the food preferences and health outcomes later in life. Complementary feeding practices are important to ensure an adequate nutrition for a child from 6 to 24 months of life, which is a critical window for optimal nutrition. Understanding the frequency of feeds, consistency of food, the need for nutrients, and the eating behavior not only helps in providing the required nutrition but also molds healthy eating habits in later life. Unhealthy eating habits, on the other hand, can not only increase the risk for non-communicable diseases in adulthood, but can also have adverse long-term consequences on intelligence quotient and cognitive development.