Study: Spoon-Fed Babies More Likely to Turn to Sweets

“Basically anything that is chip-shaped and can be held in a baby-sized fist is ideal,” Townsend says. “Many parents also pre-load foods that are mashed onto a spoon for the baby to put into their own mouth””they soon get the hang of it.”

One drawback to baby led weaning is that it can be messy. But, as Townsend pointed out, coverall bibs and splash mats are helpful in keeping the mess contained.

The study also found that the children who fed themselves tended to have lower BMIs (body mass index) than those who were spoon-fed, potentially because they learned to self-regulate in feeding themselves. Townsend says she was surprised by how many babies in the study were breastfed, and she would like to see more research with children who have been formula fed to better evaluate the role of milk feeding in introducing foods.

And, of course, before you decide what and when to feed your baby, always check with your child’s pediatrician for input and advice.

Baby Knows Best? The impact of weaning style on food preferences and body mass index in early childhood in a case”“controlled sample”
Baby-Led Weaning

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