While good nutrition is important throughout life, it is particularly essential from birth through the growing years, to allow the brain, the other organs, and the bones to reach their full potential. But just what is good nutrition? Experts debate the healthiest amounts and types of foods for infants and children. Reports in the media often contradict one another. And the advice that parents of young children receive from relatives and friends is often a mixture of accurate, up-to-date information and unfounded or outdated notions.
In this report the American Council on Science and Health will describe the developmental and growth-related changes that take place in infants' and children's nutritional needs and tell readers how to meet these needs.
The American Council on Science and Health believes that feeding infants and children healthy diets begins with understanding the basics of nutrition and learning to distinguish sound, scientific information from misconceptions and nutrition folklore. Once parents see that the basic principles of nutrition are actually relatively simple, that a wide variety of readily available foods are both wholesome and safe for their children to eat, and that those foods can make a positive nutritional contribution to their children's diets, they will realize that feeding children can be a pleasure. By introducing foods to young children with a smile and an open mind, parents and caregivers can encourage the development of lifelong healthful eating habits.