Baby Weaning

“Should parents be encouraged to use ‘baby-led weaning’?”

Early childhood is the best time to modify food preferences as well as to foster healthy diets in obesogenic food environments, therefore is crucial understanding the factors that contribute to healthy nutrition in infancy.
Majority of the professionals advices on children food intake are orientated more on “what” and “when “to feed, rather then “how “to feed. Recent attention of public is concentrated more on question “how “to feed.

During the first year, an infant grows more rapidly than at any other time in its life. This fast period of growth means that infant need a lot of energy and nutrients to ensure that they can grow well.
In the first 6 month of life, an infant is wholly dependent on milk.   The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK Department of Health have recommended that all infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 month of life.
In this period several developmental changes occur in the digestive, renal and immune systems. Those changes allow babies to cope more effectively with solid foods. (Kramer & Kakuma, 2001). Physical changes also emerge around 6 months of age that enable the baby to self-feed, which include the ability to sit unaided, grasp objects and bring them to its mouth, chew, and move food from the front to the back of the mouth (Naylor & Morrow, 2001).
The DH Guidelines acknowledge that babies’ individual development varies widely and that some babies may be ready for solid food before, or after, this time. The introduction of solid food should commence no later that 6 months of age, but not before four months.
Introduction of solid food or complementary food to an infant diet is called weaning. WHO describes a weaning as an introduction to solid feeding, during which milk is gradually replaced by solid food as the main source of nutrition. The World health organization recommends that terms “weaning “ and weaning food should be replaced by the...