I think every parent spends a fair amount of time considering the best way to introduce solids into their baby’s diet. I know we did. Do we start with rice cereal? Do we make our own baby food? Do we do baby led weaning?
There are a lot of factors to consider, and according to a recent study, babies that feed themselves (also known as self-weaned babies) are less likely to be obese as toddlers and more likely to have healthier food preferences than babies who are spoon-fed.
Ellen Townsend, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham in England, led the study that indicated that none of the studied “self-weaning” babies were obese as toddlers, where 8 of 63 of spoon-fed babies were. It’s postulated that babies who feed themselves stop when they are full, but parents will continue to feed a baby a designated portion even if the baby is no longer hungry.
Babies who feed themselves are also more likely to choose healthy carbohydrates (such as pasta, toast, or potatoes) over sweets when given the option.
Townsend says the study should reassure parents that it’s OK to let the child to make their own food choices, as long as the parents are providing nutritious options such as fruits and vegetables, proteins, and iron-rich foods like hard-boiled eggs or strips of meat.
What do you think of the studies findings? Have you tried baby-led weaning with your children?
Image Source: flickr | mamaloco