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New USDA dietary guidelines now include infants

Toddlers also covered by recommendations
Posted at 9:34 PM, Jan 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 06:54:02-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The USDA is issuing new dietary guidelines, which for the first time, include recommendations for infants and toddlers.

They include providing infants with supplemental vitamin D beginning soon after birth, because breast milk often doesn't have enough.

"It’s not always a guarantee that when you breastfeed that a lot of things are passing on to your child,” said Alexis Epperson, a new mother.

Getting vitamin D naturally is especially difficult here in WNY.

“Did you look outside today? Did you see the overcast, gloomy weather we have? Even when we’re out and about in the summertime, it’s not like we can store it up for the winter time,” said Reverend Diann Holt, doula and retired nurse.

So they recommend breastfeeding mothers take vitamin D supplements. Health officials also recommend that infants at six months of age be given nutrient rich foods without added sugar.

The guidelines also suggest introducing peanuts, eggs, and dairy products early, once they turn 4 months old, to reduce the risk of developing food allergies.

"It’s very, I would say vital for mothers to make sure they’re doing their best,” said Epperson.

Supporters say for the first time in the 40-year history of the dietary guidelines, the USDA is following science, not responding to political pressure.