What Is the Healthiest Way to Feed a Baby?

A baby measurement was part of a nutrition study at the University of North Carolina last June. Many different studies have examined the feeding of babies over the years.

According to koodakpress، An article on Monday, about a study showing that babies who feed themselves, a practice known as baby-led weaning, are not less likely to be overweight than babies whose parents spoon-feed them, generated a large comment response from New York Times readers.


The study, published in September in JAMA Pediatrics, contradicted the findings of previous studies that had suggested that baby-led weaning might reduce obesity, and that the practice resulted in a lower body-mass index (B.M.I.) in infants who fed themselves. In that study, no significant differences in B.M.I. were found at 12 or 24 months between children who were spoon-fed and those who self-weaned.

Many of our readers suggested that the benefits of baby-led weaning may lie in what, instead of how, babies are fed, a conclusion also reached by several medical professionals who commented on the article. Below is a selection of comments on the article.

Some readers believe it’s not about how you feed your child, but what you feed them.

Putting out, say, some scrambled eggs, cooked carrot chunks, banana chunks, cooked squash, etc. for my toddlers resulted in extremely healthy, normal weight kids, who continue to be extremely healthy to this day. Oh, and I made my own baby food — did big batches on the weekend and froze little baby servings. I never used that stuff in jars. That might have made a difference too.

Some parents said that baby-led weaning was a positive experience for their children.

I nursed my son for a year and a half. When he was about 7 months old, I put some peas on his highchair tray, and he ate them. A few days later I gave him something else we were eating. As time went on, he was eating a wide variety of foods. I never made baby food, never bought baby food and never spoon fed him.

Three children and I can count on my two hands the total number of times I spoon fed. Their skill in getting food in their mouths corresponded perfectly with their increased need for that food. A beautifully elegant transition. You just have to be willing to put up with some messes for a little bit.

We did not have to feed him while we were eating our dinner! We relaxed and ate and talked to each other and kept a close eye on him. He played with the food on his plate and tasted it, and derived some nutrition from it. He developed his fine motor skills, so that he could pick up the foods. He tried a wide variety of foods and is not a picky eater.

But other parents said that their babies did not self-regulate their eating.

The doctor told my wife, “the baby will tell you when he’s done eating,” so she took her at her word. He loved his bottle and by the age of 6 months looked like a very well-fed, miniature Henry VIII, complete with double chin.

We basically tried the baby-led weaning thing and, for whatever reason, he now eats anything and everything. So much so that we now have to worry about his weight.

Many readers believed it was important for parents to establish good habits of their own for their children to mirror.

Parents’ own food habits have a large impact on their children, and eating a well-balanced diet in front of your children — even as babies — has a big impact on their future.

The goal is not to be authoritarian any more than it is to be indulgent, but instead to authoritatively provide the structure that allows for only healthy food selection and helps children learn how to pay attention to their internal cues.

But others said that parents can’t control their children’s diets forever.

By all means, do whatever you can to provide a healthy diet to your kids. Just don’t expect that you’re necessarily going to prevent future weight problems by doing so.

We’ve created a problem where there never was one. Some people’s bodies are just going to be fat and we need to stop pathologizing them. And doing this to babies is even more messed up.

It seems to be clearer now that avoiding processed foods and refined sugars gives people of all ages a fighting chance to achieve a non-obese B.M.I., but it’s a hard fight for those genetically programmed to be fat.

Pediatricians weighed in, with most supporting the idea that parents need to choose their children’s first foods carefully, regardless of how they feed them.

As a pediatrician, I find the whole concept of baby-led feeding practices a scam. Babies don’t get their food, nor control how they eat; their parents interpret their desires. All feeding, therefore, is parent determined.

As babies turn to solids, parents must be aware that the most nutritious foods don’t come from a box or bag.

Dietary caution against obesity from the very beginning is appropriate. And we need to monitor not only how our children eat, but what they eat, starting with our industrial food chain.

Now we’d like to hear from you: Do you have experience feeding babies? Did you try baby-led weaning? If so, what was your experience? Or did you try a different approach? Tell us about it in the comments section of this article.

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