I do like to bang on about food and nutrition.
It’s because I really believe in the importance of good nutrition for good health. Particularly now, at this time in history, when so many of us suffer the burden of preventable chronic disease. What’s more, we’re passing the baton onto our kids. Our smalls! The next generation!
A recently published Australian study evaluated the impact of diet in the first two years of life on later cognitive development.
The researchers found that children who were still breastfed at six months and went on to develop a diet that included fruit and vegetables, legumes and cultured dairy, had a higher IQ. Whereas those who regularly consumed biscuits, chips, chocolate, lollies and soft drink before the age of two had a lower IQ at the age of eight.
Although the difference in IQ between these different dietary habits was small, it was statistically significant. Yeah right, you might say, what do stats matter to a busy parent? Well, they provide an insight into causation and correlation.
Information such as this demonstrates that the way we feed our children and the type of foods they are exposed to, particularly during crucial formative years, can have long-term impacts on their health.
Happily, children are incredibly resilient. Nonetheless, the earlier they learn about good nutrition, the better.
And how best to learn? Through experience.
And how best to teach them? By example.