Friday, December 18, 2015

Infant and Toddler Nutrition


General practitioners (GPs) are often the first point of advice about nutrition and feeding concerns in infants and toddlers.


The aim of this article is to discuss the assessment of breastfed infants and address commonly presenting issues such as regurgitation, vomiting and bowel habits. Recommendations for starting solids and management of fussy eating are also outlined in this article.


Breastfeeding should be supported by all healthcare professionals. Intake is difficult to quantify, but can be assessed using growth and urine output, with support from lactation consultants and/or child and family health nurses. Regurgitation is common, and usually resolves itself. If there are clinical concerns about a child’s vomiting, they should be investigated medically. Consti-pation can be caused by insufficient fluid intake and should be managed medically; dietary interventions are not recommended as first-line treatment. Solid foods should be introduced around six months of age, when the infant is developmentally ready. Delaying the introduction of solids or allergenic foods does not prevent allergies. Fussy eating is common in toddlers exerting their independence, and behavioural management is essential.


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