Complementary foods avoid overweight



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Baby nutrition: Finger food as complementary food avoids being overweight

Finger food for weaning breast milk lowers the risk of being overweight in babies. If babies can take their first meal in their own hands, this obviously reduces their liking for sweets and reduces the likelihood of later weight problems, according to a study published today by Ellen Townsend and Nicola Pitchford from the University of Nottingham.

As the AFP news agency reports, the British researchers at the University of Nottingham found that toddlers who were given the first bite-sized portions of semi-solid food for self-service after breast milk had significantly fewer weight problems than babies who were spoon-fed. In the context of their study, the scientists compared the so-called "baby-led weaning" (literally: baby-controlled weaning) with the usual weaning of breast milk by eating porridge and puree by spoon feeding.

Baby-controlled weaning of breast milk The "baby-led weaning" is the first complementary food to provide bite-sized pieces of semi-solid food for self-service and, according to the British researchers, offers considerable advantages over the conventional supplementary food made from puree or porridge. In the course of their study with 155 babies, the children who were fed with a spoon later developed a preference for sweets much more often than the babies with finger food diets to choose for themselves. The children in the "baby-led weaning" group also had normal weight more frequently and were less likely to be fat after weaning than the babies with conventional complementary food, reports the news agency "AFP" about the "British Medical Journal" (BMJ) published study by Nicola Pitchford and Ellen Townsend.

Fingerfood promotes healthy eating habits in babies According to the British researchers, their current study results show that babies are less likely to become overweight if they can choose their first meal by hand after breast milk. The British scientists write that there is much to suggest that baby-controlled weaning of breast milk contributes to the promotion of healthy eating habits in early childhood and thus protects against obesity. In order to provide a clear statement, however, further studies are required, since only 155 babies were observed in the current study, according to Nicola Pitchford and Ellen Townsend. However, the researchers' results could possibly change the transition from breast milk to complementary foods in the future - away from spoon feeding with porridge or puree, to finger food in bite-sized portions. (fp)

Also read:
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Many children go to school without breakfast
Every third baby is born by Caesarean section
Unknown cause of sudden infant death
Start exercising slowly after giving birth
What to do about postnatal depression

Image: Lisa Schwarz / pixelio.de

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