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11.1: Introduction to Nutrition Throughout the Lifecycle

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  • Throughout all of the seasons of life, food is a basic human need. That’s just as true for a newborn infant filling her tiny tummy with breast milk as it is for her mother, whose body is performing the physiological feat of synthesizing milk for her baby. And it’s equally true for her grandparents, who are preparing a meal to share with the new family once they come home from the hospital. Food nourishes our bodies in every stage of life, but eating together is also a way of nurturing our social and emotional connections with one another.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): “Grandpa’s Arms” photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash (license information)

    Yet, as we grow and change, so do our nutrient needs, and every stage of life brings unique challenges. In this unit, we’ll cover nutritional considerations in several key stages: pregnancy and breastfeeding, infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, and older adulthood.

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