New nutritional guidelines for infants and children

How should your child eat over the first three years of its life?

Sundhedsstyrelsen, the health and medicines authority, released new guidelines for childhood nutrition today. They replace previous guidelines from 2006. Here's what you need to know:

– Cow's milk is not recommended for children under the age of one. Only breast milk or formula is recommended for the first year. This is due to the higher amount of protein in cow's milk. An abundance of protein in younger years can lead to being overweight in later years.

– Nursing mothers should avoid fish prone to containing mercury (like tuna) and should not let their children eat these fish until they reach three years of age. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries' dietary recommendations for mothers who breastfeed are included in the guidelines.

– Ensuring that your child has tried various types of food before it turns two may help prevent food neophobia – a fear of new foods. 

– Foods with gluten can be introduced alongside foods without gluten before the child is six months old. Since the child should be able to cover its iron needs, iron supplements are no longer recommended between six and twelve months.

– Between six months and two years the child's diet should progress from breast milk or formula to one that follows the official guidelines for adults, although with more fat and less protein.

– Due to a risk of botulism, children should not have honey before they turn one.