Spoon Fed Babies More Likely To Be Overweight

Spoon Fed Babies More Likely To Be Overweight

According to research, spoon feeding could put your baby at an increased risk of obesity.

Researchers found toddlers who were spoon-fed as babies were twice as likely to be overweight than babies who fed themselves solids.

Baby led weaning (BLW) has becoming increasingly more popular in the last ten years.

Rather than spoon feeding pureed foods to their babies, many parents are instead handing control over to their babies.

These babies are presented with finger foods and are left to choose how much or how little they eat.

While BLW might sound messy, many parents claim it has helped to introduce their kids to a wide range of foods and boosted baby’s independence. It has also made family mealtimes less stressful

Spoon Fed Babies More Likely To Be Overweight

Amy Brown, associate professor at Swansea University, believes some parents might be unwittingly overfeeding their babies. In her book, Why Starting Solids Matters, Professor Brown examines the evidence surrounding the introduction of solid foods.

The book includes details of a study that investigated the weaning process, eating habits and weight of almost 300 babies. The study looked at how solids were introduced to each participant, between the ages of six and 12 months.

About a year later, the participants were weighed, and researchers analysed their eating habits. They found the babies weaned using the BLW approach were more likely to know when they were full, and to stop eating at that point.

The study was limited in size, but the researchers hope their work will be a starting point for further research in this area.

Professor Brown also warns parents of the dangers of forcing young children to finish their meals, as this can mean babies continue to eat, even after they are full.

When they overeat, young children learn to ignore their body’s cues for fullness. This can lay the groundwork for a future of overeating.

BLW puts babies in control of their bodies, and allows them to choose what and how much they eat.

As long as you offer them a variety of healthy foods at each opportunity, it is up to them to decide what they eat.

At first, you might find your baby doesn’t eat very much at all – playing with food is too much fun – but eventually, she will get the hang of eating the food on her own.

Have you given BLW a try?

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Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.

One comment

  1. Yes – fairly successfully I think, given my toddler has followed the same growth curve consistently from birth. We still do it. My only questions are around minimising waste, and when they stop throwing food. If anyone knows, please help!

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