Introducing complementary foods to infants: does age really matter? A look at feeding practices in two European communities: British and Italian

Cristini Costantini, Gillian Harris, Vasu Reddy, Lucy Akehurst, Alessandra Fasulo

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Abstract

Advice about the age for introducing complementary food to infants varies across European countries. Little is known about the actual practice of complementary feeding (CF) in the face of different advice from health professionals within Europe, nor about the impact of different ages of onset of CF on infant food acceptance. This longitudinal study aimed to explore CF in two European communities, British and Italian and to investigate whether infant age of CF influenced infant food acceptance. Forty-six mothers were interviewed before the onset of CF (Visit 1), one week after CF (Visit 2), and at 7 months of infant age (Visit 3), and infant mealtimes were video-recorded at Visits 2 and 3. CF occurred in both groups at a similar range of ages. CF age did not affect infant food acceptance at either Visits. Advice on CF should be based on cultural and individual differences.
Original languageEnglish
Journal Child Care in Practice
Early online date29 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 29 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • infant feeding
  • complementary food
  • feeding methods
  • food acceptance

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