A fun hour for children of early age

41 million were overweight or obese. 6 months old are exclusively breastfed. 23 months of age meet the criteria of dietary diversity and feeding frequency that are appropriate for their age. Breastfeeding improves IQ, school attendance, and is a fun hour for children of early age with higher income in adult life.

Improving child development and reducing health costs through breastfeeding results in economic gains for individual families as well as at the national level. Infant and young child feeding is a key area to improve child survival and promote healthy growth and development. Optimal breastfeeding is so critical that it could save the lives of over 820 000 children under the age of 5 years each year. 6 months together with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond. However, many infants and children do not receive optimal feeding.

6 months worldwide were exclusively breastfed over the period of 2007-2014. Recommendations have been refined to also address the needs for infants born to HIV-infected mothers. Antiretroviral drugs now allow these children to exclusively breastfeed until they are 6 months old and continue breastfeeding until at least 12 months of age with a significantly reduced risk of HIV transmission. Chief among these is protection against gastrointestinal infections which is observed not only in developing but also industrialized countries. Early initiation of breastfeeding, within 1 hour of birth, protects the newborn from acquiring infections and reduces newborn mortality.

It can provide half or more of a child’s energy needs between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and one third of energy needs between 12 and 24 months. Breast-milk is also a critical source of energy and nutrients during illness, and reduces mortality among children who are malnourished. Children and adolescents who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese. Additionally, they perform better on intelligence tests and have higher school attendance. Breastfeeding is associated with higher income in adult life. Improving child development and reducing health costs results in economic gains for individual families as well as at the national level. 6 months has a hormonal effect which often induces a lack of menstruation.

Mothers and families need to be supported for their children to be optimally breastfed. International Labour Organization’s “Maternity Protection Convention 183” and “Recommendation No. Breastfeeding practices are highly responsive to supportive interventions, and the prevalence of exclusive and continued breastfeeding can be improved over the course of a few years. An infant of this age is also developmentally ready for other foods. If complementary foods are not introduced around the age of 6 months, or if they are given inappropriately, an infant’s growth may falter.