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Authors

  1. Perreault, Maude MSc, RD
  2. Mikail, Sandra BSc
  3. Atkinson, Stephanie A. PhD, DSc (Hon), FCAHS

Abstract

Despite recognition that the first 1000 days from conception to 2 years of life is of critical importance to later health, specific guidelines for infant feeding do not commonly exist in many developed countries, and where they do, recommendations are not consistent across countries. In 2012 and 2014, Health Canada, in partnership with major Canadian child health societies, released an official joint statement to guide health professionals in feeding recommendations for infants targeted separately to birth to 6 months and to 6 to 24 months. Based on an extensive review of recent evidence and accepted practice, the recommendations provide guidance on breastfeeding, age of introduction and types of foods, food safety, family engagement in establishing healthy eating practices, responsive feeding, growth monitoring, as well as menu planning. Future directions should consider harmonization of infant feeding recommendations across countries and their incorporation into population-based dietary guidelines.