Nutrition in Infancy
The purpose of this paper is to review current knowledge and provide advice on breastfeeding, formula feeding of term infants (including which type of formula may be appropriate for a given patient), and the timing and composition of complementary feeding. The review is primarily aimed at children living in Europe, generally in an industrialised country. In brief, all infants should be exclusively breastfed from birth to about 6 months (26 weeks) of age or at least for the first 4 months (18 weeks) of life. Breastfeeding should preferably continue beyond the first year of life. Infants who cannot be breastfed, or should not receive breast milk, or for whom breast milk is not available, require breast milk substitutes of high quality. Based on the available evidence, it is reasonable to advise that for all infants, complementary foods should not be given before 17 weeks and should be introduced by 26 weeks; however, no data are available to form evidencebased recommendations. New foods should not be introduced too often – generally not more frequently than every 3 days – nor should more than one new food be introduced at a time.
Keywords: Infant feeding, childhood, infancy, complementary feeding
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