What Children Eat

Editor(s): H. Szajewska Annales Nestlé Vol.71 / 2,  2013


There is a large dataset elucidating that Nutrition in the First 1000 Days has consequences extending into adulthood. The pathogenesis of a number of diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes mellitus, allergy and other immune diseases, some forms of cancer, mental health problems, osteoporosis, chronic respiratory disease, and musculoskeletal conditions, has been linked to maternal and early infant diet and nutrition. In this issue of the Annales Prof. Bhatia updates on the knowledge on how to optimize nutrition of the low birth weight infant with a specific emphasis on human milk and the need for fortification.  Prof. Haschke presents new data showing the eating patterns of infants within the first 2 years of life and nutritional avenues to reduce the risk of allergy in infancy as well as childhood obesity. Finally, the data from the ‘Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study’ (FITS) summarized by Dr. Saavedra states that at the age of 2 years, the dietary patterns established during this period are set for life. The first 2 years therefore provide parents and caregivers with a critical window of opportunity in which to lay the foundation for healthy eating habits, improving the health of the next generation, and curbing the epidemic of obesity.

  • Human Milk and the Premature Infant

    Author(s): J. Bhatia

    Human milk is the preferred feeding for both term and preterm infants. While being considered optimal for term infants, human milk, even from mothers delivering preterm infants, is lacking in protein, energy, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus, resulting in poorer growth and nutrient deficiencies when compared to formulas designed for these high-risk infants. Further, the lack of growth is associated with long-term adverse consequences. Since human milk has unique properties in promoting gastrointestinal maturation
    and immunological benefits, it is prudent to implement strategies to fortify it appropriately to realize its benefits which include reduced rates of necrotizing enterocolitis, fewer episodes of sepsis and urinary tract infections, and improved visual and neurocognitive development. Donor human milk is being widely used when mothers’ own milk is not available or is in short supply. While it retains some of the biological properties and clinical benefits of mothers’ own milk, it requires additional care in fortification, especially if the donor milk is from a pool of term human milk. As nutritional strategies improve, the ultimate goal is to minimize extrauterine growth restriction and promote appropriate growth after regaining birth weight.

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