The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families states that the time frame for early brain growth begins at mid-gestation, while the child is still in his mother's womb, and goes until age 2. Serious consequences can occur if children do not get enough nutrition. The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families states that malnourished children have smaller brains due to a "reduced dendritic growth, reduced myelination and the production of fewer glia." The smaller size can result in behavioral and cognitive problems, which can impede a child's performance in school. 75% of the brains capacity develops between birth and the age of three!
Breast milk &/or iron fortified formula should be continued through the 1st year of life. Solid foods may be added at 4-6 months. Adding cereal and solids to formula & then feeding by bottle is not recommended. This can lead to obesity and faulty eating patters. Remember that every time a baby cries he/she is not necessarily hungry, especially if he/she has recently been fed. Sugar should not be added to water given to infants. Never let the infant go to sleep with a juice or milk bottle in his mouth. This can result in early tooth decay. Cow’s milk in not recommended for infants under 12 months of age. Skim milk should not be used for the first 2 years of life since it contains no fat. Fat is needed for the infants growth. Avoid sweetened beverages such as juice, soda, sport drinks, or tea!