New research indicates that parents may be feeding their children solid food too early. Dr. Michael Omidi examines the research from the journal pediatrics.
In a study conducted over 2 years that comprised over 1,300 mothers, it was found that 40% of moms were feeding their babies solid food earlier than is recommended. The American Academy of Pediatrics, which publishes the journal Pediatrics where this study was introduced, recommend that babies only be introduced to solid food after 6 months old.
The results of the study cam as bit of a shock, as studies that had been conducted previously estimated the number of mothers feeding their children solid food too early between 19% and 29%. The researchers of this study believe that even more mothers may be feeding their children solid food to early based on the fact that the demographics that were included in this research skewed to more well-educated and higher income mothers. The study states that “mothers of lower socioeconomic status are at a higher risk of early solid food introduction.”
The primary concern related to introducing children to solid food to early revolves around health concerns such as increased risk of diabetes, obesity, eczema, and allergies.
The study isolated several reasons why this trend may be occurring, based on the questionnaires provided to mothers, including:
- The belief that their baby was old enough to begin eating solid food (90% of mothers)
- Concern that their baby was hungry all the time despite being fed formula or breast milk (71% of mothers)
- A doctor or other healthcare professional had suggested to the mother that their baby should start eating solid foods (55% of mothers)
The biggest concern is lack of awareness of what the proper recommended age is: Babies will not be developmentally ready for solid foods until at least 4 months old and it is strongly suggested by the AAP that you wait to feed your child solid foods until at least 6 months old.
Please share this article to help spread awareness about the recommendations of the AAP for the new mothers in your life.
By Dr. Michael Omidi