Comparison of food and nutrient intake in infants aged 6–12 months, following baby-led or traditional weaning: A cross-sectional study

PEARCE, J and LANGLEY-EVANS, SC (2021). Comparison of food and nutrient intake in infants aged 6–12 months, following baby-led or traditional weaning: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

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    Background: A baby-led approach to weaning (BLW) encompasses self-feeding and self-selecting graspable foods, offering an alternative to traditional weaning (TW). This cross-sectional study explored adherence to characteristics of BLW and differences in food group exposure and nutrient intake between babies following either TW or BLW. Methods: Nutritional data were collected via multiple-pass 24-h recall, following parental completion of an online survey. Results: Infants were grouped according to age (6–8 months; TW [n = 36] and BLW [n = 24]) and (9–12 months; TW [n = 24] and BLW [n = 12]). BLW babies were more likely to be breast fed (p = 0.002), consumed a higher percentage of foods also consumed by their mother (p = 0.008) and were fed less purees (p < 0.001) at 6–8 months. TW babies were spoon fed more (p ≤ 0.001) at all ages. Amongst babies aged 6–8 months, total intake (from complementary food plus milk) of iron (p = 0.021), zinc (p = 0.048), iodine (p = 0.031), vitamin B12 (p = 0.002) and vitamin D (p = 0.042) and both vitamin B12 (p = 0.027) and vitamin D (p = 0.035) from complementary food alone was higher in babies following TW. Compared to TW, BLW babies aged 6–8 months had a higher percentage energy intake from fat (p = 0.043) and saturated fat (p = 0.026) from their milk. No differences in nutrient intake were observed amongst infants aged 9–12 months. Few differences were observed between groups in their number of exposures to specific food groups. Conclusions: TW infants had higher intakes of key micronutrients at 6–8 months, although there were few differences in nutritional intake at 9–12 months or food group exposure between babies following TW or BLW. BLW appears to be socially desirable. Guidance for parents is required, along with larger, longer-term studies, which explore the potential impact of BLW in later childhood.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology; 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics; Nutrition & Dietetics
    Identification Number:
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2021 12:03
    Last Modified: 14 Sep 2021 12:15

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