ESPGHAN Annual Meeting 2022: Nordic lower-protein diet could hold key to instilling healthier eating habits in babies, new study finds


2022/6/24 10:15



COPENHAGEN, Denmark, June 22, 2022, /PRNewswire=KYODO JBN/--


Starting babies and toddlers on a lower protein Nordic-style diet with a

greater focus on plant-based food may be the key to healthier eating habits,

according to new research being presented today at the 54th Annual Meeting of

the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition



Babies fed taster portions of the new Nordic diet of fruit, berries, roots, and

vegetables, as well as breast or formula milk, from the age of 4-6 months of

age, were eating almost double the number of vegetables (46% more), than those

fed a conventional diet, by 18 months of age.


Researchers from the University of Umeå, Sweden, Stockholm County Council

Centre for Epidemiology, and the University of California, USA, followed two

groups of babies from 4-6 months through to 18 months, as part of the OTIS

trial. A total of 250 babies took part and 82% completed the trial.


Babies fed the new Nordic diet, who had been supplied with Nordic home-made

baby food recipes, protein-reduced baby food products, and offered parental

support via social media, consumed 42-45% more fruit and vegetables at 12-18

months of age, compared to those who were fed the conventional diet currently

recommended by the Swedish Food Agency.


Lead researcher Dr Ulrica Johansson, a Medicine Doctor in paediatrics and

registered dietitian at the University of Umeå, Sweden commented: "A Nordic

diet with reduced protein introduced to infants naive to this model of eating,

increased the intake of fruit, berries, vegetables, and roots, establishing a

preferable eating pattern lasting over a 12-month period."


"A Nordic diet reduced in protein is safe, feasible and may contribute to

sustainable and healthy eating during infancy and early childhood," she added.


The novel research could pave the way to broadening the taste spectrum in

infants and potentially provide an effective strategy for instilling healthier

eating habits early in life.


The Nordic diet has a higher intake of regionally and seasonally produced

fruit, berries, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, tubers, and legumes, as well as

whole grains, vegetable fats and oils, fish and eggs, and a lower intake of

sweets, dairy, and meat.


To arrange an expert interview, for further information or for references,

please contact, +44 208 154 6396