The USDA has released new dietary guidelines for babies (and all the rest of us) and some of those recommendations are causing a stir. The guidelines call for kids to eat a low-fat, low-salt, sugar-free diet. They also say babies don’t need anything besides breast milk for the first six months of life. That means no solid food. If you can’t breastfeed, formula is okay but cereal or baby food is not recommended.
Also forbidden for toddlers are any kinds of sweets. The recommendations say kids should not have anything with added sugar before they’re two years old. No candy, no cake, no cookies, no ice cream. When you do start feeding the baby, the USDA says you should introduce potentially allergy-inducing foods like peanuts to kids early.
And it’s never too early to start those kids on a strict diet. The new recommendations say:
Added sugars—Less than 10 percent of calories per day starting at age 2. Avoid foods and beverages with
added sugars for those younger than age 2.
• Saturated fat—Less than 10 percent of calories per day starting at age 2.
• Sodium—Less than 2,300 milligrams per day—and even less for children younger than age 14.
Here’s What To Eat
So what should you eat. The USDA says:
The core elements that make up a healthy dietary pattern include:
• Vegetables of all types—dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and
• Fruits, especially whole fruit
• Grains, at least half of which are whole grain
• Dairy, including fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, and/or lactose-free versions and fortified
soy beverages and yogurt as alternatives
• Protein foods, including lean meats, poultry, and eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; and nuts,
seeds, and soy products
• Oils, including vegetable oils and oils in food, such as seafood and nuts
Oh, and watch what you drink. No more than 2 alcoholic beverages are permitted per day for adults.