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Thread: Self-fed babies will be thinner: (Adelaide Now article)

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Self-fed babies will be thinner: (Adelaide Now article)

    Came across this in my newsfeed this morning, not very well written...

    Self-fed babies will be thinner: study | Adelaide Now

    KIDS will grow up slimmer if they are allowed to feed themselves solids instead of being spoon-fed purees.

    That's according to a recently published UK study.

    As well as gaining less weight, the researchers said so-called "baby-led" weaning made infants more likely to become healthy eaters.

    Dietitians Association of Australia spokeswoman Professor Clare Collins said the message for parents was to encourage infants to feed themselves a variety of foods.

    But they should be foods the baby won't choke on - so fruit and vegetables may need to be softened by cooking until babies had teeth to chew, she said.

    And weaning babies on to foods they could feed to themselves also encouraged self-regulation of appetite, she said.

    "If you use the spoon feeding approach, you could be overfeeding babies because it's hard for them to indicate they've had enough," she said.

    How can we make tots eat better?
    Home care falling for at-risk children
    Babies fed solids 'less likely to be obese' Adelaide Now, 18 hours ago
    Finger foods may beat pap when weaning The Australian, 1 day ago
    Crying for the bottle The Daily Telegraph, 11 Jan 2012
    Mum guilty of force-feeding baby to death Perth Now, 13 Oct 2011
    Starved of their future at birth The Australian, 21 Aug 2011

    Prof Collins recommended parents let babies feed themselves fruit, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates and soft proteins.

    She said: "Parents may need to chill - they are going to make a mess, but that's what babies are supposed to do."

    Lead author Dr Ellen Townsend, of Nottingham University in the UK, said babies who took control at mealtimes had the best chance of avoiding obesity, possibly because they became used to several textures.

    Her team reviewed questionnaires detailing the weaning style and food preferences of 155 children aged 20 months to six years.

    Researchers found that infants who fed themselves had a "significantly increased liking for carbohydrates" - but those being spoon-fed favoured sweet foods instead.

    "Infants weaned through the baby-led approach learn to regulate food intake in a manner which leads to lower body mass index and a preference for healthy foods," Dr Townsend said.

    The findings had major implications for battling childhood obesity and more research was needed, she said.

    The study is published in the open access, online-only journal BMJ Open.

    I did BLS with Jboy, I recall the girls in my mums group being astonished that he could use a fork and spoon on his own and handle a cup very well by the time he was one (even before!)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    I did different things with each of my children. They are both lean, however the spoon-fed one is very lean. So, not quite fact in our house.

    Perhaps the families who did BLS were more informed on babies and food and therefore were more likely to raise leaner children in the first place.

  3. #3


    I can see how this makes sense i.e. getting the baby to do all the handling of the food/utensils means they can only eat as much as their coordination/dexterity allows. I don't think appetite levels and coordination necessarily correlate, you can have a baby that has a good appetite for solids but not so good with getting it in their mouth, or a baby who is easily able to get things in their mouth but has no interest in actually eating it. But it's a tricky one because how will we ever know if the spoon feed babies are bigger than they would normally be, or self fed babies are skinnier than they would normally be, or alternatively they were all exactly the same as they were genetically determined to be regardless of how the food got in there! There is no way of testing that.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara


    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny View Post

    Perhaps the families who did BLS were more informed on babies and food and therefore were more likely to raise leaner children in the first place.
    I think that's a really good point to make. People who are educated about food and nutrition will make healthier choices anyway.

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