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The First 1000 days


The first 1000 days of a child's life (from conception to their second birthday) is life changing for many parents, especially new mums and dads. SMA Nutrition is working with health columnist and medic Dr Ellie Cannon to help to further educate parents about nutrition and protein levels at this important time. Becoming a parent for the first time can be very daunting, having someone dependant on you, and not knowing what’s around the corner. Although 1000 days may not sound like a long time, they are a uniquely special time that can have a real effect on how your baby develops, grows and learns. Not just now but for the rest of their life! It's important to know that the nutrition and protein you provide them with now will have an impact that lasts far beyond their first 1000 days.

The first days of nutrition including 270 days of pregnancy, 365 days of their first year and 365 days of year two are so important for both mum and baby. Harry has only just turned one but I remember Amelia's first 1000 days like they were yesterday, and the first days of nutrition are so important for both mum and baby Which means a balanced diet during pregnancy, exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first 6 months (if possible) and a combination of a wide variety of nutrient rich foods such as fish, vegetables and eggs. 

I never really understood the importance of pre-natal vitamins before I fell pregnant with Amelia, and as I didn't find out I was pregnant with her until I was nearly 20 weeks it was too late to take them. When I found out I was pregnant with Harry I started taking them instantly especially as I never really had a nutritional diet myself I wanted to ensure that baby did. 

Amelia has always been a fussy eater from the word go however Harry will eat anything I put in front of him. I have always tried to give them a balanced diet full of nutritional foods and even when Amelia wouldn't eat what she was given I would either blend it up or make her a smoothie instead. 

I breastfed Amelia for over two years, however Harry didn't take to it as well and we only managed around 12 weeks although I'm glad I stuck it out for that long as he still benefited from some of those nutrients whilst breastfeeding. One thing I have noticed from not breastfeeding is that Harry is prone to many more colds than Amelia ever was. Amelia was very rarely ill in her baby years and didn't get her first cold until she was around one and a half whereas Harry must have had at least 20 before he even turned one. 

Protein in milk is one of the key components in breastmilk that helps to ensure healthy growth and development in your baby. The protein level in breastmilk changes as your baby grows, meaning it contains the right quality and quantity to help them grow at a steady rate. It can also decrease their chances of being overweight or obese in later life which is just fascinating to know that you've helped your baby follow the appropriate rate of growth. 

SMA Nutrition is looking to educate pregnant women and Mums about the importance of the first 1,000 days of a baby’s life (from conception to their second birthday). During this time, protein is a hugely important factor in shaping a baby’s future – the right nutrition means the right development and growth. With over 90 years’ experience in infant nutrition SMA Nutrition have gained a deep understanding of the importance of protein and the role it plays in a baby's development. Research has been conducted and shows that 51% of mums wished there was more information available on the importance of protein in the first 1,000 days and 45% wanted more insight into the appropriate rate of growth in this time. 

As a result, SMA Nutrition have produced a hub of helpful articles and a video on protein in the first 1,000 days which you can view here.



Do you have any burning questions about protein and nutrition during the first 1000 days? If so leave them below and Dr Ellie Cannon will answer some of them in a Q&A style post and I will be sharing these on the blog sometime over the next few weeks.

* In collaboration with SMA Nutrition. For details on how I work with brands take a look at my work with me page.

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15 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing the hapinness and the joy of being parents.
    Lovly post!
    http://helenamybeauty.over-blog.com/

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  2. Great post, so interesting as I had no idea the second year was so important to their nutritional development too xx

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  3. Great post! My little boy has just turned one and we've switched him over to cows milk but he doesn't seem to be eating that well at the moment. Do you think he's getting enough from the milk or should I switch back to formula? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Hannah, you have asked a really great question. I wouldn't be too concerned about switching your son back to formula. He can get the necessary vitamins and minerals from nutrient-dense foods that you incorporate into his diet and also from cow's milk :) This way he won't be consuming all the additives that formula milk consists of as well - double win!

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  4. How much is too much milk in your baby and childs development?

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  5. My baby was particularly large and the MW's recommended formula for hungry babies. Someone told me that formula is pointless as it's just added starch. Is this true?

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  6. Great post and well done on feeding Amelia for two years, that's an awesome effort. I fed Phoebs for 12 months and now she doesn't drink any milk. My question would be if that's ok? She just doesn't like it! She has a lot of milky cereal, cheese, yoghurts etc so i'm hoping that's fine! x

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    1. Hi Stephanie, 12 months of feeding is such a great effort - well done! I wouldn't be too concerned that Phoebs doesn't like cow's milk, as long as you are feeding her a nutrient-dense diet consisting of healthy fats like coconut oil, butter, and other unprocessed dairy, plus veges, some meat, and fish, she will be a strong and healthy wee girl :)

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  7. Really informative post!! It's so important to remember how valuable the nutrition is to them at this age!! x

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  8. My daughter is currently 14 months old and drinks cows milk but I was wondering whether it's okay to switch to semi-fat or keep her on whole milk? She doesn't seem to be enjoying full fat that much.

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  9. That's a really interesting post (and stunning 1st picture, Kerry!). I remember being told to move on to cow's milk after my 1st baby turned 1. Would you still recommend using formula until they are 2?

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  10. My midwife told me to start introducing cows milk to my daughter diet at 6 months, surely that's too young to do so?

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry