By Matthew Feltrop : What is (and particularly what isn’t) on children’s plates in the United States is prime evidence of the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Right before the current health crisis hit, childhood food insecurity affected a staggering 15 million children. Without the consistency of school meals, as well as many households losing income, that number has grown to about 18 million. Widespread childhood nutrition programs have proven essential to increasing both food security and health outcomes for children.
Pediatricians play a key role in preventing medical problems in children as much as they do in treating them. It is the reason for those frequent visits with your pediatrician in the first few years when growth and development are crucial. Identifying issues early on allows intervention and improves outcomes for a child’s long term health. As a pediatrician myself, I have two main jobs: take care of children and educate parents.
While this is a fun, new adventure, remember that even after starting solids, primary nutrition will be from breast milk or formula in the first year of life. No cow’s milk or juice yet either, please! Don’t be surprised if that first bite of avocado puree puts a weird face on your baby. That doesn’t mean stop trying.
Breastfeeding isn't easy. Just ask Maya Vorderstrasse (photo credit above - and we love her). It's hard! It takes a village. Manasa Mantravadi, M.D. weighs in on the powers of breast milk and the importance of encouraging moms to try it and educating them about its powerful benefits. Part of Ahimsa's mission is to encourage healthy habits from a young age. That starts in infancy - months before plates, cups or bowls are introduced!