habits from the beginning of infancy onward (Skinner et al., 2004). Children who have early experiences with eating healthy foods are more likely to prefer and consume those foods and to have dietary patterns that promote healthy growth and weight (Anzman et al., 2010; Mennella et al., 2008), patterns that may then persist in later childhood (Skinner et al., 2004). Given that more than half of children under the age of 5 receive care in out-of-home settings (HHS, 2011a), parents as well as other caregivers need information and guidance on how to foster the development of healthy eating patterns among young children. This chapter includes recommendations designed to improve nutrition through infancy to the consumption of solid foods.
GOAL: PROMOTE THE CONSUMPTION OF A VARIETY OF NUTRITIOUS FOODS, AND ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT BREASTFEEDING DURING INFANCY
Recommendation 4-1: Adults who work with infants and their families should promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continuation of breastfeeding in conjunction with complementary foods for 1 year or more.
Potential actions include
- hospitals and other health care delivery settings improving access to and availability of lactation care and support by implementing the steps outlined in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and following American Academy of Pediatrics policy recommendations;
- hospitals enforcing the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitute (This step includes ensuring that hospitals’ informational materials show no pictures or text that idealizes the use of breast milk substitutes; that health professionals give no samples of formula to mothers [this can be complied with through the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative]; and that the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, hospital administrators [through the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative], health professionals, and grocery and other stores are required to follow Article 5, “The General Public and Mothers,” which states that there should be no advertising or promotion to the general public of products within the scope of the code [i.e., infant formula]);