Dietary factors during infancy, e.g. high intakes of protein, fast carbohydrates and
saturated fat increase the risk of adult obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. However,
current dietary recommendations to infants are based on traditions and experiences whereas
research is basically lacking.
Towards the end of the first year of life the infant will normally become increasingly
suspicious towards fruits and vegetables. However, these foods are an important part of
healthy eating. When and how these food items should be introduced into the diet of young
children is unclear.
New Nordic Diet, an initiative from the Nordic Council of Ministers calls for a larger intake
of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, fish and game. In adults such diet improves weight and
biomarkers of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Since dietary preferences are
founded early in life it is logical to introduce such a diet already when the child is
starting complementary foods.
In a randomized controlled study from 6 mo of age, we want to explore if a Nordic
complementary diet with lower protein intake, more vegetable fats and a systematic
introduction of fruits and greens will improve body composition, metabolic biomarkers, the
composition of faecal microbiota (associated with obesity), cognitive development and the
consumption of foods that can lay the foundation for better long-term diet. If the study has
the expected results, these will have a direct impact on the dietary habits of Swedish
children during infancy and childhood and thus their long-term health.