A review of literature comparing methods of introducing solid foods: Traditional spoon feeding and baby led weaning

Date
2021-01-01
Authors
Powell, Mara
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Sarah Francis
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Altmetrics
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Food Science and Human Nutrition
Abstract

A literature review was undertaken to assess two methods of solid foods introduction for human infants. The goal was to compare adequacy and safety of each method and to determine if research has shown either method to have better nutritional outcomes. Studies were selected based on keyword searches on multiple databases, analyses of search results, and reviewing references of appropriate articles already chosen. The feeding recommendations provided by leading agencies: WHO, CDC, DGA, AAP, AND were summarized to compare against the feeding methods for safety and adequacy. Descriptions of each method of feeding and potential concerns were examined based on evidence from the literature reviewed. Current evidence indicates that both feeding methods are safe and confer appropriate nutrition. While some studies show that there may be a correlation between baby led weaning and lower rates of overweight/obesity, more and better studies are needed to demonstrate statistical significance. At this time evidence does not indicate that one feeding method is superior to the other. Caregiver social interaction with the infant and positive feeding experiences appear to be more important than who is feeding the infant. Educating healthcare providers and parents on knowledge and acceptance of feeding goals, and the importance of feeding interactions are specific opportunities to improve the outcomes of solids introduction, regardless of feeding method.

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