USDA’s Nutritional Guidelines Now Include Recommendations for Babies

For the first time ever, the report includes recommendations from birth to 2 years old.
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ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
Jul 2020
dad feeding his baby at the kitchen table
Photo: Getty Images

Last week on Wednesday, July 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) scientific report on nutritional guidelines for Americans. For the first time ever, it includes recommendations for babies from birth to 2 years old.

Most notably, the DGAC recommended that pregnant women, infants and toddlers get adequate amounts of choline and linoleic acid, which are nutrients found in eggs, nuts, seeds, and meats. According to the report, these foods are usually not consumed in high volumes by many infants and toddlers.

Eggs, the report continues, are recommended as the first feeding food for babies at 6 months and then as a foundational food for toddlers aged 12 to 24 months. In fact, the committee believes introducing eggs in the first year of life might help reduce the risk of allergies. The guidelines also state that eggs are important for pregnant women due to choline, which helps fetal brain development.

When it came to breastfeeding, formula feeding and introducing solid foods, the committee agreed with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) current guidelines.

“Science-based dietary guidance is critical to ensuring a healthy future for America,” USDA food, nutrition, and consumer services deputy undersecretary Brandon Lipps stated in a press release. “USDA greatly appreciates the high-quality work done by this committee comprised of our nation’s leading scientists and dietary experts. We look forward to thoroughly reviewing the report and leveraging their scientific advice as we partner with HHS to develop the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

To learn more about the committee’s findings, check out their full report.

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