- Today, 17% of French people are obese (including 6% of children aged 8 to 17).
- Massive obesity has practically doubled in a decade, going from 1.1% in 2009 to 2% in 2020, and now concerns more than a million French people.
Santé publique France has formulated, with the support of health and early childhood professionals, new dietary recommendations for parents of children under the age of 3. “They have been the subject of several studies with parents and health professionals, in order to ensure their understanding and accessibility”, state experts in public health.
Here’s what they recommend:
– possibility of introducing all food groups, including foods known to be allergenic, from the start of diversification, ie between 4 and 6 months.
– Introduce new textures from 6-8 months (approximately 2 months after the start of diversification).
– Do not hesitate to offer a food up to 10 times, a baby may need time to appreciate it.
– Systematically add fat in homemade preparations or in those of the trade which do not contain it.
– Introduce sweet products at the latest possible age and in a limited way.
– Trust the child’s appetite and pay attention to signs of fullness.
– Do not force a child to eat.
– Be attentive to the environment of the meal, in particular avoiding the presence of screens.
Food diversification is a founding stage in a child’s life. “Indeed, the educational practices of parents, relatives and more generally of the social environment will contribute to the acceptance by the child of new foods during the period of diversification and will have an influence on his way of eating. on the long term”, explains Public Health France. “Listening to and observing the child to adapt the diet to its development are essential”, concludes the health agency.