If you want to encourage your young child or young child to develop healthy eating habits when they grow up, you may want to read this after this new study. In a recently published research paper, a team of researchers found that babies who eat a Scandinavian diet low in protein between the ages of four and six months are more likely to develop healthy eating habits.
According to a report by the CDC for 2020, over 36% of children and teens in the United States eat junk food regularly, and 13.8% of their daily calorie intake comes from unhealthy fast food products. Another study conducted as part of the WHO’s European Childhood Obesity Monitoring Initiative (COSI), which examines the diets of 132,789 children from 23 European countries, also revealed some shocking results. The study shows that less than half of children eat fruit and only 22.5% of them eat fresh vegetables for breakfast.
If you think that unhealthy eating habits are simply related to common health problems such as obesity or constipation, then you know only half the truth. Studies show that fast food increases the risk of heart disease, asthma, allergies and diabetes in children. It can also lead to mental problems such as low self-esteem and depression. However, it is impossible to keep track of what your child eats outside the home, so developing healthy eating habits from the beginning can play an important role in maintaining your child’s health as he or she grows up.
How can the Scandinavian diet plan help?
The Scandinavian low-protein diet includes berries (especially blueberries, cranberries, raspberries), vegetables (such as turnips, carrots, cabbage, etc.) and roots. A recent study highlights that feeding your babies soft and edible portions of these fruits and vegetables can double their chances of choosing to eat healthy foods as they grow. The results of the study are based on an OTIS study, in which researchers observed a total of 250 babies aged four to five months until they were 18 months older.
During the experiment, the babies were divided into two groups; one group was fed a Scandinavian low-protein home diet. While babies from the other group receive conventional baby food as recommended by the Swedish Food Agency. The Scandinavian diet had 17-29% less protein than the normal diet, but it was no less than the recommended protein diet needed for babies. However, calorie intake was the same for both groups.
A total of 205 babies completed the test. Interestingly, babies who eat Scandinavian food start eating about 45% more fruits and vegetables until they are 12 to 18 months older. On the other hand, when babies fed a conventional diet reach the same age, they reduce their consumption of vegetables by 36%.
Explaining his findings, Dr. Ulrika Johansson, lead author and doctor of pediatrics at the University of Umeå, Sweden, said:
“Scandinavian diet with reduced protein, introduced to babies naive to this diet, increased the intake of fruits, berries, vegetables and roots, establishing a preferred diet for a period of 12 months. She also added: “The Scandinavian low-protein diet is safe, feasible and can contribute to sustainable and healthy eating in early and early childhood,” she added.
Many other benefits of the Scandinavian diet low in protein
The Scandinavian diet is a healthy and sustainable food choice for your babies, which includes mostly seasonal fruits and vegetables. The various types of berries that are consumed as part of the diet are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, roots and vegetables such as black, cabbage, beets, carrots and more. have a high fiber content. In addition, the variety of foods and flavors in the Scandinavian diet encourages babies to develop different eating preferences.
The exciting and positive effect of the Scandinavian diet is that it stimulates your child’s eating habits to prefer healthy plant foods to unhealthy meat-based foods and junk food. This not only saves him from various health risks in the future, but is also good for the planet. Asked about the programming effect of the Scandinavian diet on babies, Dr Johansson said ZME Science:
“We hope that they will experience wider variations of nutrition from healthy and sustainable food (fruits, berries, roots, vegetables). Due to the programmatic effects in early childhood, when developing food preferences. But we also need to work with the family as a whole. Health benefits; reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases. And reduce the burden of climate by eating a more planetary healthy diet. “She added:” This diet may have later health effects (early programming) on body composition and other metabolic processes and microbiota. It remains to be studied and tracked . ”
Dr. Johansson and her colleagues will now be monitoring babies up to the age of seven. To be able to detect the long-term health effects of early eating from the Scandinavian low-protein diet.
The study was presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).