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Medical Monday: New Nutrition Guidelines for Children

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(WXOW) - The United States Department of Agriculture is changing nutrition guidelines for young children.

New data for infants from birth to age two gives researchers an idea of the impact of early eating habits in children. For 35 years, the USDA did not have any major recommendations for this age group.

Rebecca Cripe, RD of Gundersen Health System says what the new guidelines are emphasizing is that every bite counts.

"What we see is habits established in those first few years sets the trajectory that will continue," said Cripe, RD. "It's hard to change those habits."

Cripe, RD added that breastfeeding is preferred within the first six months to a year. If parents are not able to do that, then iron-fortified formula is acceptable. She said solids should not be introduced until around six months.

Foods that often generate allergies like tree nuts, eggs, and wheat should be introduced early on. Cripe, RD. said if there is a history of allergies in the family, to consult with a primary doctor.

Parents should also take note of a child's signs when they are hungry, full, etc. Caregivers should also work to eat healthy because children often model what their guardians eat.

Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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