Nutrition during first 1,000 days crucial for baby's healthy life
Dr G M Subba Rao, NIN scientist, delivers key-note address in a webinar on “Balancing the diet to balance nutrition”, organised by PIB & Regional Outreach Bureau (ROB) of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry
Hyderabad: Providing nutrition during first 1,000 days accelerates mental development and good physical growth of a baby, said Dr G M Subba Rao, scientist of ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), on Wednesday.
Delivering the key-note address in a webinar on 'Balancing the diet to balance nutrition', organised by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) and the Regional Outreach Bureau (ROB), Information and Broadcasting Ministry, here he said the first 270 days in the infant's life while in the womb and the next two years after birth are very crucial in its life.
"During this period, mother and child need to be given very balanced and nutritious diet as this ensures immunity. About 30-40 per cent women who conceive often suffer from deficiencies of micro-nutrients, such as B12, iron, folic acid. Hence, it is essential to take diversified food during pre and post-pregnancy. He said every one kg increase in the weight of a pregnant woman will increase the infant's birth weight by 52 gm. "Ensuring that the new-born baby is fed with breast milk within the first hour after birth gives it the essential nutrients to build up strong immunity," he said.
"Breastfeeding for first six months promotes cognitive and sensitive development and renders maximum protection to babies against infectious diseases. Explaining the nutritious food that need to be taken for a healthy life", Dr Rao said quality, quantity and frequency of meals are very important. A healthy diet should include fresh fruits, vegetable, nuts and healthy fats.
He said everybody should take 350 gm of vegetables and 150 gm of fruits daily. Salt intake should be restricted to below five gm and sugar to two or three teaspoons. Food items should be stored in a fridge at less than five degrees Celsius temperature.
Clearing various misconceptions on food, Dr Rao said too much of rinsing of rice before cooking will lead to loss of nutrients. He recommended to include two –three varieties of edible oils for cooking.