The First 1000 Days

May 28, 2020 | 5:09 pm

The First 1000 days

Did you know that the first 1000 days of a child, from conception up until 2 years of age, is the most crucial time in terms of getting proper nutrition for growth and development? The lack thereof could lead to negative effects and one of those is stunting.

What is Stunting?

Stunting is an outcome of inadequate nutrition, repeated infection and insufficient psychosocial stimulation which impairs the growth and development of a child. It affects not only the height of a child but also educational performance, productivity and the risk of developing non-communicable diseases.

Nutrition from Conception

During conception, the mother is the only source of a child’s nutrition. It is vital to consume a healthy and balanced diet combined with the needed vitamins and minerals.

Your OB Gynecologist will also recommend the vitamins and the vaccines that you need to take in order to provide your child with adequate nutrients and protection.

Nutrition for the first 6 months

Breast milk contains all the needed nutrients for the development of a child. It can also provide protection from illnesses and increase the IQ of a child by 5 to 7 points. From birth until 6 months of age, it is the only food a child needs to intake.

A mother-baby friendly hospital, like DLSUMC, teaches the mother on proper latching, breastfeeding and the importance of breastmilk in a child’s development.

Nutrition from 6 months to 2 years of age

Complementary feeding is the combination of breastmilk and semi-solid to solid foods. A growing child needs consistent intake and variation of healthy foods to aid its nutritional needs. Food groups can include grains, roots and tubers, legumes and nutsdairy productsmeat and meat productseggsvitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables, and other fruits and vegetables.

Your child’s pediatrician will advise you on the appropriate food and frequency of food intake for your child. This can vary due to many factors such as age, height, weight and medical conditions.

Key Factors in Complementary Feeding

• Time
The transition of a child’s food intake should be based on age. Transitioning early or late can affect a child’s development.
• Adequacy and Appropriateness
Complementary feeding depends on the age, height, weight and medical condition of a child. This determines the amount, frequency and type of food your child needs.

• Safety

The preparation and storage of food is critical to avoid contamination.


  1. National Nutrition Council
  2. World Health Organization
  3. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
All content found on the DLSUMC website, including text, graphics, images, audio or other formats were created for general informational purposes only and are not intended or implied to be substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call your local emergency hotline immediately.

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