The importance of brain development in the First 1,000 Days is reflected in the extent to which the brain uses the energy consumed by infants. This is as high as 75% in the first 4 months of life falling gradually to about 50% at 2 years of age. For adults it is 20%.
Unlike most animals that are born “hard-wired”, the human brain is highly flexible in the early years of life in man, which has had the evolutionary advantage of allowing infants to learn different languages, cultures, cuisines, religions and so forth. This highly valuable flexibility comes with a price. If brain nutrition is not properly addressed in this crucial period, the ensuing loss of cognitive capacity becomes permanent.
Clearly, the First 1,000 Days are pivotal to the long term cognitive and physical capacity of infants.”
Mike Gibney, Professor of Food & Health, University College Dublin .