The study, involving over 7,000 children, was led by Public Health researcher Dr Lisa Smithers at the University of Adelaide.
The dietary habits of the babies were logged at six months, 15 months and eight years of age.
“We found that children who were breastfed at six months and had a healthy diet regularly including foods such as legumes, cheese, fruit and vegetables at 15 and 24 months, had an IQ up to two points higher by age eight,” Dr Smithers explains.
Babies who were regularly fed biscuits, sweets, soft drinks, chocolate and chips, however, had an IQ of two points lower by the time they were eight years old.
Dr Smithers also found that some ready-prepared baby foods fed at six months had a negative impact on IQ at eight years.
This study reinforces the need to provide children with healthy, nutritious foods during crucial stages of development.
Many of us forget that the food we put into our bodies has a profound effect on how our bodies work in the future. It is easy to shun responsibility for what we put in our (and our children’s) mouths, but by taking a more active approach to our food, we could effectively improve our future health, happiness – and even intelligence.
To find out more about how nutritionists work and how seeing one could benefit you, please visit our Nutrition Topics section. You may find our page about Infants and Preschool Nutrition particularly useful.
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