New Resource Maps the Connection Between Developmental Stages and Infant Feeding

Today, an independent group of leading experts in child nutrition and development, the Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF), launches a Factsheet on Developmental Stages in Infant and Toddler Feeding. The Factsheet is the first authoritative work to bring together the developmental milestones of infants and their relationship with food and feeding, influenced even during their time in the womb.

This useful guide aims to provide health and childcare professionals with an evidence-based description of the developmental stages observed around food and feeding in infants and young children. It makes the link between developmental milestones, such as motor skills and the importance they play in the development of an infant’s feeding habits and ability to eat and drink.

Gill Harris, Paediatric Clinical Psychologist and member of the ITF comments:
“Feeding babies and young children can be an intense and emotional (positive and negative) experience for both parent and child. During the early years, a child’s relationship with food, such as milk-feeding, the introduction of complementary foods and the transition to family foods, can be critical for his or her health and development, and have long term consequences on dietary range. Parents often ask health professionals when their child will attain feeding and drinking related skills and acquire preferences for particular foods. This Factsheet aims to provide that knowledge to health and childcare professionals. They will then be better informed when discussing developmental milestones with parents.”

The Factsheet offers an overview of the developmental stages in infants and is split into four sections, giving in-depth and illustrated advice on feeding babies and young children.
The four sections are:

  • skills related to feeding and eating
  • specific feeding skills
  • taste, texture and food preferences
  • appetite regulation

The Developmental Stages in Infant and Toddler Feeding Factsheet is now available for free from here.

A Guidance & Tips resource on the Developmental Stages for parents will be available soon.

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Further Reading

  • Vegetarian and vegan diets have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with more and more parents raising their children on a plant-based diet. Toddlers have high-energy needs and small stomachs, so it is important parents know how to ensure their child gets all the nutrients needed for healthy growth and development. The Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help with practical tips and advice for parents considering a vegetarian or vegan diet for their toddler.
  • Encouraging toddlers to keep physically active will help them to develop movement skills, stay a healthy weight and keep a healthy heart. No matter the weather, we have fun activities which will keep your toddler active and entertained this Easter!
  • Pregnant women are given lots of advice surrounding healthy eating and lifestyle, but this is often based on old or outdated information. There are so many myths and misconceptions floating around that it can be difficult for mums-to-be to tell fact from fiction. Here are our tips and guidance, so you can feel confident about having a healthy pregnancy.