Most parents know that the first two years of their child’s life are filled with growth and developmental milestones. However, not as many parents know how much of a role the food your baby eats during this time can impact their brain development and overall health. If you ask experts like Dr. Teresa Purzner of Cerebelly, though, food can impact early brain development in big ways.
The Importance of Nutrition During The First 1000 Days
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the nutrition a child receives during the last trimester of pregnancy and during the first two years of life play a critical role in a child’s lifelong development. In fact, children may end up predisposed for conditions like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes based on the nutrients they receive during this critical developmental phase.
Furthermore, healthy brain development is entirely contingent on the vitamins and other nutrients a child receives during these critical first 1000 days of life.
The organization Zero To Three says Children who are deprived of the calories, proteins, and nutrients they need during this period do not adequately grow. Oftentimes, these children experience smaller than average brains because of the reduced dendritic growth, myelination, and glia production that occurs due to the result of inadequate nutrition.
Over time, this leads to slower language and motor skill development, lower IQs, and lifelong cognitive deficits. Children who do not receive the adequate micronutrients they need during the first two years of life can also experience mental health complications as they grow and mature.
Take A Look At What’s In The Foods Your Baby Eats
Practicing neurosurgeon Dr. Teresa Purzner MD, Ph.D. says that each region of the brain requires a specific set of nutrients for optimal development. And, given that 80 percent of your child’s lifetime brain development happens by the time they turn three, it’s easy to see why your baby is eating during the first two years of life matters so much.
According to Puzner, there are a total of 16 key nutrients a baby’s developing brain needs.
These nutrients are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
However, Puzner says that many of the baby food products we pick up from our local grocery stores have zero percent of many of these essential nutrients. Furthermore, she says that each brain region grows and peaks at different times, meaning the timing of food introductions is key for proper brain development.
This is why Dr. Purzner, along with a team of world-class pediatricians, nutritionists, and food scientists developed Cerebelly, the first baby food brand that offers unique baby food options based on your child’s age and developmental status.
Whether you use Cerebelly products or not, though, Dr. Purzer says it’s important for parents to pay close attention to what is (and isn’t) in the baby food they provide for their child.
When shopping for baby food, you want to consider your child’s age, the ingredients listed for the food items, and the brand’s track record of providing safe, healthy foods for babies.
By keeping all of this in mind, you’ll set your baby up for optimum brain development and the best possible health outcomes as they grow up before your eyes.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, Zero To Three, Dr. Teresa Purzner, Cerebelly
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