By all accounts, there is an abundance of food in America. Rates of obesity are high, across all segments of the population, and Americans have access to and consume more calories than are recommended for good health. Yet hunger is rampant with as much as 15% of American households considered food insecure, which means they lack access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all members of their household.
Over the past several decades, childhood obesity rates have risen dramatically, especially in economically disadvantaged communities. Children who carry excess weight face a number of health problems in childhood, and later as adults.
A number of factors have contributed to this health crisis, and it's going to take a number of approaches and lifestyle changes to help reverse the trend. Some of them require commitments from industry and politicians. But not all of them. Some of them require YOU.
As my kids have grown they have gone from willingly putting anything in their mouths (including crayons!) to being slightly more choosy, and I’ve watched even my most adventurous eater stop eating foods she once liked. Given that I also know that kids need multiple exposures to a food before they “like” it (or even willingly eat it), and that this number increases as children get older, I wanted to have strategies in place to promote + support the skill of tasting.
What you feed your baby when she starts eating solid foods matters, and new research out of the UK sheds more light on just how much it does. Following children over 8 years enrolled in The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, researchers at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Bristol identified a number of different dietary patterns at 6 and 15 months of age and examined their link with weight and IQ 8 years later.