Nutrition Crucial for Infants with Cleft: Challenges and Solutions

by Ella

The initial 1000 days of life, spanning from conception to two years of age, are a pivotal period for physical growth and brain development in infants. During this critical window, the importance of proper nutrition cannot be overstated, as it yields lifelong benefits encompassing physical growth, intellectual capacity, and emotional well-being. Ideal nutrition for infants involves exclusive breastfeeding for the initial six months of life, followed by the introduction of nutritionally sound and safe complementary (solid) foods at six months, while continuing breastfeeding up to two years or beyond.

A wealth of research has underscored the link between adequate infant nutrition and the enduring safeguarding against chronic diseases, as well as the optimal physical and cognitive development of a child. Encouragingly, public health awareness campaigns have led to increased adoption of breastfeeding practices at the household level. The exclusive breastfeeding rate among children under six months has exhibited progress, rising from 55% in 2015-16 (as per NFHS 4) to 64% in 2019-21 (according to NFHS 5).




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