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Your child’s health depends on good nutrition

Prenatal period

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A healthy lifestyle, characterised by a varied and balanced diet in conjunction with regular physical activity, is a key health factor for pregnant women, those of childbearing age, future dads and unborn babies.

If you plan on becoming pregnant, it is recommended you supplement your diet with 400mcg of folic acid daily (product listed under segment A), at least two months prior to conception and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy.

Furthermore, it is recommended you abstain from consuming alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs during pregnancy.

As during the fertile years, nutrition also plays a key role in pregnancy, as it not only affects the woman’s well-being, but also that of the foetus during its intrauterine life, and that of the infant, child and adult in their extrauterine life (Barker 1992).

0–6 months

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WHO and UNICEF recommend to exclusively breastfeed infants in the first six months of life and, if mother and child so wish, to continue even longer in combination with an adequate, complementary diet.

The supplementing of infant formula should only occur subject to the paediatrician’s advice, once every attempt at effective breastfeeding has been made.

Baby pit stop initiative

Breastfeeding is a right for mothers and babies, and must again become a natural and public practice. ATS Città Metropolitana di Milano and UNICEF are promoting the distribution of baby pit stops (BPS). Baby pit stops are areas set up in public spaces where it’s possible to refill on milk and change nappies.

6–12 months

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Starting from six months, breast milk needs to be integrated with other foods. The baby will make it clear that they are ready for food to be introduced.

Normally, at this age they are ready for change and the correct timing will depend on the baby’s neurological maturity (i.e. their ability to sit up and keep their head upright, their eye-hand-mouth coordination, and the ability to swallow food), as well as their interest in foods other than milk.

From 6 to 12 months it is important to gradually start changing the consistency of food while considering the baby’s ability to swallow and chew.

In order to avoid the risk of suffocation, it is important that the child eat while sitting upright and that they aren’t fed if laughing or crying: at this age, the constant presence of an adult during mealtimes is still required.

From 12 months onwards

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From 12 months the baby will eat 2–3 meals a day, by now eating like you, but with food puréed as needed, plus 2 healthy snacks of fruit or whole yogurt and breast milk, in the absence of which, whole cow’s milk or formula (milk 1–3 years).

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