COPENHAGEN, Denmark, March 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Switching infants and toddlers to a low-protein, Nordic-style diet that emphasizes plant-based foods could hold the key to healthier eating habits, a new study shows. new research, presented today at the 54th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).
Babies fed New Nordic Diet samples of fruits, berries, roots and vegetables, and breast milk or formula at 4 to 6 months of age consumed almost twice as many vegetables (46% more) at 18 months of age they feel like babies fed a conventional diet.
Researchers from Umeå University, Sweden, Stockholm County Council Center for Epidemiology, and the University of California, USA, followed two groups of babies from 4 to 6 months to 18 months in the OTIS study. A total of 250 babies participated in the study, of which 82% completed the study.
Babies fed the New Nordic Diet, fed Nordic recipes for homemade baby food and protein-restricted baby food products, and offered parental support through social media diet currently recommended by the Swedish Food Administration .
Lead researcher Dr Ulrica Johansson, a pediatrician and dietitian at Umeå University, Sweden, commented: “A low-protein Nordic diet given to infants who were not used to this feeding pattern increased intake of fruits, berries, vegetables and roots and resulted in a preferred dietary pattern that persisted over a 12-month period
“A low-protein Nordic diet is safe, feasible and can contribute to sustainable and healthy nutrition in infancy and early childhood,” he added.
The new research could pave the way for expanding the range of flavors in babies and potentially provide an effective strategy for teaching healthier eating habits at a young age.
The Nordic diet is characterized by a higher consumption of locally produced and seasonal fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, tubers and legumes, as well as whole grains, vegetable fats and oils, fish and eggs, and a lower consumption of sweets , dairy products and meat.
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