BOSTON (CBS) — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is issuing a policy statement to improve the nutrition of children in their first 1,000 days of life.
They’re calling on healthcare professional to educate pregnant women about breastfeeding and provide help when needed, to counsel caregivers about important brain nutrients, and to advocate for improved nutrition programs at a local, state, and federal level.
The most critical period of brain development begins at conception in the womb and ends at the beginning of age 3. Poor nutrition during this time can lead to lifelong deficits in brain function even if those nutrients are replaced later on.
The AAP says it is not only under-nutrition that can pose a problem but excessive calories at the expense of other nutrients can also harm the developing brain.
Critical nutrients include protein, iron, folate, zinc, healthy fats and vitamins like A, D, and B vitamins.