WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today is the nation's first Child Health Day since the Dietary Guidelines for Americans began providing nutrition recommendations by life stage, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, and toddlerhood. With more grandparents caring for grandchildren and continued research demonstrating the power of the earliest years for children's future health and well-being, public health and child nutrition groups are providing additional resources and support for grandfamilies.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 is the first edition to provide guidance on healthy dietary patterns for every life stage from birth through older adulthood. According to DietaryGuidelines.gov, this edition also emphasizes that it is never too early or too late to eat healthy.
In particular, infancy and toddlerhood provide an important opportunity to build long-lasting healthy habits, including a healthy beverage pattern. What children drink during the early years can help set children on a path for healthy growth and development.
"During the first 1,000 days, the brain grows more quickly than at any other time in a person's life. Supporting the health and nutrition of families and children during this window of opportunity must be part of any strategy to promote health, reduce disparities and enable future generations to lead better lives," said Blythe Thomas, 1,000 Days Initiative Director.
Research in the fields of neuroscience, biology and early childhood development provide powerful insights into how nutrition, relationships, and environments in the 1,000 days between a person's pregnancy and a child's 2nd birthday shape future outcomes.
A recent study from Generations United, Family Matters: Multigenerational Living Is on the Rise and Here to Stay, finds that the number of Americans living in a multigenerational household with three or more generations has nearly quadrupled over the past decade, with a dramatic increase of 271 percent from 2011 to 2021 (7% vs. 26%). Generations United estimates 66.7 million adults ages 18+ in the U.S. are living in a multigenerational household; that's more than 1 in 4 Americans.
To support grandparents and older adults who are caring for young children, or who love and support pregnant and birthing people and their children, many resources are available, including:
- A new suite of videos targeted at grandparents: https://bit.ly/3io2t6e
- Resources available on HealthyDrinksHealthyKids.org; and
- The USDA Dietary Guidelines and resources for all Americans: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/.
- Resources available via National WIC: https://www.nwica.org/position-papers
The new videos emphasize small steps grandparents can take to nourish the young kids in their lives, including avoiding serving sugary drinks and instead offering water or plain milk.
Since the first edition was published in 1980, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have provided science-based advice on what to eat and drink to promote health, reduce risk of chronic disease, and meet nutrient needs.
Child Health Day became a national day of observance in 1928 when President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the day at the request of Congress.
SOURCE 1,000 Days