Professor of Nutrition, Susan E. Carlson, PhD, emphasizes the importance of providing the essential fatty acids, DHA and ARA for brain development and cognition. Sufficient dietary consumption of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids is vital throughout the first 1,000 days, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Prenatal and postnatal DHA affects cortical visual acuity, sustained attention, problem solving ability, as well as brain structure and function. Dr. Carlson reviews the dietary recommended DHA intake for mothers and infants, and outlines a balanced diet after infancy, with foods that contain DHA.
The overarching goal of this curriculum is to improve the clinician’s ability to guide mothers and children toward nutrition that supports optimal growth and development during the first 1,000 days.