Nutrition is critical to the growth and development of youth. Rates of growth and development in early life are higher than at any other point in the life cycle. Nutrition plays a critical role in ensuring that growth and development occur at appropriate times and at optimal rates.

Infant Growth Patterns and Energy Needs

During the first year of life, most infants will nearly double in height and triple in weight. Infants who are born small for gestational age or preterm and those with congenital birth defects or developmental delays may experience growth patterns that differ from this pattern. Infant growth is assessed through periodic monitoring of weight, length, and head circumference based on the age and gender of the infant. In the case of preterm infants, ...

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