News article

Canada Updates Recommendations for Health Professionals on Infant and Young Child Nutrition

Posted:  Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Breakthrough in the field of Infant Nutrition

There is an important paediatric document on Infant nutrition that has been released by Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, Dieticians of Canada, and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada today. This document is basically a revision of Nutrition Of healthy infants between ages six to twenty four months. The document outlines the guidance based on scientific methods and offers information to parents and care givers of young children with regard to their nutritional requirements.

The external Infant Feeding Expert Advisory Group Health Canada had taken in the information supplied by different doctors, dieticians, nurses, researchers and parents through a stakeholder consultation in spring 2013.

Advisory Group of Health Canada improvises their recommendation list:

There were several changes made to the recommendations for Infant Nutrition by the Infant Expert Advisory Group of Health Canada. These changes basically look forward to improve the commitment that the Health department of Canada has made towards the citizens, providing them and their families with better food facilities. Such facilities would include healthier food choices involving the latest scientific improvements made since 2005.

Health Canada has encouraged parents and caregivers to ask their healthcare providers about these revised recommendations.

Recommendations of the document:

•    The sustainability of consistent breast feeding even after the introduction of solid food to the child.

•     Providing alternate Vitamin D as supplements to breastfed infants and young children.

•     Give importance to the consumption of food containing iron, for example meat and meat products, cereals fortified with iron etc. These are extremely beneficial for young child nutrition and the level can be improved by offering them such food groups a few times every day.

•     Introduction of healthy and safe practices such as feeding one’s own self, encouragement to have finger foods and drinking liquids from open cups.

•     Introduce family meals and establish a practice for them to consume more of nutritious food items, as suggested by the dietician.

For understanding this better, one needs to know that for raising the standard of young child nutrition, a consistent supply of balanced diet is absolutely rudimentary. Therefore the guidelines for health professionals, provided in the document help to provide the most up-to-date information available on nutrition for infants and young children to ensure that little ones from six to twenty four months get the healthy start they need," says The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health.

"The first few years of a child's life play a vital part in establishing healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. These updated guidelines will help physicians provide guidance to parents on how to make decisions on nutrition that will contribute to their child's healthy growth and development," says Dr. Jeff Critch, Chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society Nutrition and Gastroenterology Committee who works in the Canadian Paediatric Society.

"The practical details are important to parents. As a dietician, I use this 'NHTI' information so I can give parents specific, clear options about feeding their children, based on the best scientific evidence," Becky Blair Registered Dietician and Public Health Nutritionist, at Dieticians of Canada. Such an implementation proves to be beneficial not only in the growth years but also later stages of the child’s life.