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Posts Tagged ‘solid foods before four months’

Is breast best? I was just speaking with my good friend Megan yesterday about how long she plans on breast-feeding before she starts her twins on solid foods. She wasn’t sure, but knew she was surely going to start weaning in the next few months now that they are a little over 4 months old. New mothers are often faced with a dilemma about how long they should breastfeed their babies and when they can start their little ones on solid foods.

According to World Health Organization recommendations, babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months. In addition, the current US guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies should be fed solid foods after six months of age. But some argue that delaying the introduction of solid foods might actually promote unhealthful eating habits by preventing babies from developing tastes for such things as bitter foods (including leafy greens).

It was announced yesterday that the “AAP’s journal, Pediatrics has published the results of a research carried out by the Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard University scientists who found that babies who were fed solids before they turned four months old, are six times as likely to become obese, by the time they are 3 years old. This was seen in babies who were never breastfed or were weaned away before they completed four months. However, in children who were breastfed, the timing of introduction of solid foods had no effect on the obesity risk, at age three.”

In the study, researchers tracked 847 babies, 33% were on formula feeds while 67% were breastfed. Researchers collected and analyzed data about the timing of introduction of solid foods, height and weight for the three-year period, and measured fat on skin folds, to arrive at the results.

Why is this all so important? The study explains:
The researchers point out, “Our data suggest that increased adherence to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines has the potential to reduce the risk of obesity in children in the United States, given the relatively high prevalence of infants who are formula- fed or breastfed for less than 4 months. Approximately one-quarter of infants in the United States are never breastfed, and approximately half are breastfed for less than 4 months.”

What do you think about this study and do you think this study rings true with your children? Please share your experiences!

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