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Good Nutrition Starts Early

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Good Nutrition Starts Early

The following information is from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To read the full article, click here.

Kids’ early eating experiences can affect how they eat as they get older. That’s why it’s so important to introduce them to healthy foods from the very beginning.

By the time your child is 7 or 8 months old, he or she can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. Your child needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong. Try making a rainbow of different colored foods on your child’s plate. Here are a few examples:

  • Fruits: bananas, strawberries, pears, oranges, melons, or avocados
  • Vegetables: cooked spinach, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, or beets
  • Whole grains: whole grain breads, crackers, or pastas
  • Meats: soft, small pieces of beef, lamb, chicken, fish, or turkey
  • Dairy: yogurts or cheeses (pasteurized only)

Foods to Avoid

There are certain foods and drinks you should avoid giving your child.

If your child is under 12 months, avoid foods and drinks such as:

  • Honey. It could cause a serious type of food poisoning called botulism in children under 12 months.
  • Unpasteurized drinks or foods. These items may put your child at risk for E. coli, a harmful bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea. Common unpasteurized foods include raw milk, juice, yogurt, or cheeses.
  • Fortified cow’s milk. It may put your young child under 12 months old at risk for intestinal bleeding.
  • Fruit juice and other sugary drinks. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children not drink 100% juice or juice drinks with added sweeteners before they are 12 months old.

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