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“Baby-Led” Weaning Helps Children Learn To Make Healthier Food Choices

February 9, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in the U.K. have found that how a baby is weaned – using either pureed or baby-chosen finger foods – can influence food choices and health later in life. When babies get to choose solid finger food, they are more likely to pick healthier foods to eat as they mature and less likely to become overweight than children spoon-fed pureed food. For the study, researchers analyzed data from 154 children. Some had been allowed to eat solid finger food during the weaning process, the rest had been spoon-fed purees. “Baby-led” weaning had a positive impact on the preference for healthier, more nutritious foods. The method “promotes healthy food preferences in early childhood which may protect against obesity," the researchers concluded.
E. Townsend & N. J. Pitchford, "Baby knows best? The impact of weaning style on food preferences and body mass index in early childhood in a case-controlled sample", BMJ Open, February 09, 2012, © Townsend et al.
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