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If you want to encourage your toddler or young child to develop healthy eating habits as they grow up, you can read this and then this new study. In a recently published research paper, a team of scientists shows that babies who eat a low-protein Scandinavian diet between four and six months of age are more likely to develop healthy eating habits.

Image credits: Witold Klein/Unsplash

According to report for 2020 More than 36% of U.S. children and teens regularly eat unhealthy foods, and 13.8% of their daily calorie intake comes from unhealthy fast foods, according to the CDC. Another study from the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) examined diet of 132,789 children from 23 European countries also revealed some shocking results. The study showed that less than half of children eat fruit and only 22.5% of them eat fresh vegetables for breakfast.

If you think that unhealthy eating is only linked to common health problems like obesity or constipation, then you only know half the truth. Studies have shown that fast food increases the risk of heart disease, asthma, allergiesand diabetes in children. In addition, it can also lead to mental problems such as low self-esteem. and depression. However, it’s impossible to keep track of what your child eats outside the home, so building healthy eating habits from the start can play an important role in keeping your child healthy as they get older.

How can the Scandinavian diet help?

The low protein Scandinavian diet includes berries (especially blueberries, cranberries, raspberries), vegetables (such as turnips, carrots, cabbage, etc.) and root vegetables. The latest study highlights that feeding children soft and edible parts of these fruits and vegetables can double the chances that they will choose to eat healthy when they grow up. The results of the study are based on the OTIS study, in which researchers followed a total of 250 children between the ages of four and five months until they were 18 months older.

During the test, the babies were divided into two groups; one group was fed a low-protein Scandinavian homemade diet. While children in the other group received regular baby food as recommended by the Swedish Food Agency. The Scandinavian diet had 17-29% less protein than the regular diet, but it was no less than the recommended amount of protein needed for infants. However, calorie intake was the same for both groups.

A total of 205 babies completed the trial. Interestingly, children who ate Scandinavian food began to eat about 45% more fruits and vegetables by the time they were 12 to 18 months older. On the other hand, when the children fed the normal diet reached the same age, they reduced their vegetable intake by 36%.

Explaining her findings, lead author and Doctor of Pediatrics from Umeå University, Sweden, Dr Ulrika Johansson said:

“The low-protein Scandinavian diet, introduced to infants not accustomed to this eating pattern, increased the intake of fruits, berries, vegetables, and root vegetables, establishing a preferred eating pattern that persisted over a 12-month period.” She further added, “The low-protein Scandinavian diet is safe, feasible, and can promote sustainable and healthy eating during infancy and early childhood.”

Many Other Benefits of the Low-Protein Scandinavian Diet

The Scandinavian Diet is a healthy and sustainable food choice for your kids that mainly includes seasonal fruits and vegetables. Various types of berries that are eaten are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, root vegetables and vegetables such as rutabaga, cabbage, beets, carrots, etc. are high in fiber. In addition, the variety of foods and tastes in the Scandinavian diet encourages babies to develop a variety of food preferences.

Image credits: Colin Maynard/Unsplash

The exciting and positive impact of the Nordic diet is that it encourages your child’s eating habits to prefer healthy plant foods over unhealthy meat foods and unhealthy foods. This not only saves him or her from various future health risks, but is also good for the planet. When asked about the programming effect of the Scandinavian diet on babies, Dr. Johansson said: ZME Science:

“We hope they get a taste for a wider variety of healthy and sustainable food (fruits, berries, root vegetables, vegetables). Due to the effects of programming in infancy when food preferences are formed. But we also have to work with the family as a whole. health benefits; reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases. And reduce your climate burden by eating a more planetary healthier diet.” She further added: “This diet may have later health effects (early programming) on ​​body composition and other metabolic processes and microbiota. This is yet to be studied and action taken.”

Dr. Johansson and her colleagues will now look after infants up to the age of seven. So they can find the long-term health effects of eating early from the low-protein Scandinavian diet.

study presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).

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