Breastfeeding and complementary feeding- recommendations on infant nutrition

21 Jul 2020

Background: Proper infant nutrition promotes healthy growth and development and lowers the risk of disease in later life. Methods: This review is based on pertinent articles retrieved by a selective search, including guidelines, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews. Results: Infants should be exclusively breast-fed until at least the age of 4 months. Infants who are no longer being breast-fed, or no longer exclusively so, should be given commercially available low-protein infant formula contain- ing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Infants with a family history of allergy should be fed with infant formula based on hydrolyzed protein until complementary feeding begins. Complementary feeding should be initiated no earlier than the beginning of the 5th month and no later than the beginning of the 7th; it should include iron derived from meat, as well as fish once or twice a week. Later initiation of complementary feeding is associated with an increased risk of allergies and is not recom- mended. Ordinary cow?s milk should not be drunk in the first year of life. All infants should be given 2 mg of vitamin K at birth, at 7?10 days, and at 4?6 weeks of age, as well as daily oral supplementation of vitamin D (400?500 IE) and fluoride (0.25 mg). Conclusion: Physicians should advise families about healthful infant nutrition in order to lay the foundation for lifelong good health through a proper diet.