Despite recognition that the first 1000 days from conception to 2 years of life is of critical importance to later health, specific guidelines for infant feeding do not commonly exist in many developed countries, and where they do, recommendations are not consistent across countries. In 2012 and 2014, Health Canada, in partnership with major Canadian child health societies, released an official joint statement to guide health professionals in feeding recommendations for infants targeted separately to birth to 6 months and to 6 to 24 months. Based on an extensive review of recent evidence and accepted practice, the recommendations provide guidance on breastfeeding, age of introduction and types of foods, food safety, family engagement in establishing healthy eating practices, responsive feeding, growth monitoring, as well as menu planning. Future directions should consider harmonization of infant feeding recommendations across countries and their incorporation into population-based dietary guidelines.
Maude Perreault, MSc, RD, is a PhD candidate in Medical Sciences, McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Sandra Mikail, BSc, is a medical student at St. George's University, Grenada, and a summer student at the Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Stephanie A. Atkinson, PhD, DSc (Hon), FCAHS, is a professor at the Department of Pediatrics and an associate member of the Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Her research focuses on the developmental origins of disease.
Dr. Atkinson is a member of the HASS Avocado Nutrition Science Advisors (ANSA). Other authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Stephanie A. Atkinson, PhD, DSc (Hon), FCAHS, Department of Pediatrics, HSC 3A44, McMaster University, 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4 K1 (firstname.lastname@example.org).