I read this article on the BBC News Website , about overfeeding infants. It talks about studies that have been carried out over a period of years to try and see a correlation between the amount of food a 4-18 month old child is consuming and compare the results with those that are fatter than they should be and those that are the right weight. Am I overfeeding my infant? That is a good question. Have a read and see what you think!
Parents may be feeding their babies and toddlers larger portions than they need, experts have warned.
Overweight children between four and 18 months old eat similar food to healthy weight children but have bigger portions, a study found.
The University College London report said parents may not realise how much young children should be eating or the dangers of them being overweight.
It said feeding guidelines needed to be more specific and better known.
‘Birth weight tracks’
The study of data from a UK survey, being presented at the European Obesity Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, looked at eating diaries parents kept for 2,564 children.
The diaries showed what children ate, how often they were eating and the size of their portions.
Researchers used the data to compare the eating habits of overweight children – classed as being in the heaviest 15% in their age group – and those of a healthy weight.
The report found overweight children were consuming larger meals than their counterparts (141 calories versus 130 calories).
Report author Hayley Syrad, from University College London, said: “The research suggests eating frequency is having no impact on weight and it’s not that parents of larger children are giving them an extra Mars bar or apple – it’s that their portions are bigger.”
Nutritionists say children’s meals should contain one to two servings of fruit or vegetables
For every extra 24 calories consumed during each meal, there was a 9% increased risk of becoming overweight or obese, researchers said.
Ms Syrad said the research suggested some parents may be overfeeding their infants, potentially under the belief it is healthy for babies to be “chubby”.
She added: “We know that even birth weight tracks into later life. If children are overweight when they are under two it tracks into adulthood.
“A bigger baby is likely to be a bigger child and then a bigger adult.”
Judy More, a nutritionist and paediatric dietician, said some parents were overfeeding their babies and young children out of fear of them being underfed.
She said babies and young children who are not overweight should eat until they are full rather than being made to finish everything on their plate.
“It’s the parents’ responsibility to provide nutritious food, but they should allow children to eat as much they want to,” she added.
Ms Syrad added that eating guidelines for infants and toddlers needed to be more specifically catered to smaller age ranges.
She said it was important for future research to follow the children in the study and see how food intake affects their weight as they get older.
I dont think they have taken into consideration that it is not volume necessarily that is the causation factor here, but what the babies are being fed. One of the reasons that more food is fed, is because the baby is still hungry. As a start off, milk is still the larger proportion of a baby’s diet until around the age of 9 months when mixed feeding is established. The problem could also be the type of food being given, too highly calorific and not enough content.
This is a screen shot of what is recommended for baby from birth to 12 months, it gives a guide to how to calculate what your baby should be having.
Education of the parents is important, so they understand what food groups to feed their babies. It shouldn’t be just pureed fruit and rusks, there needs to be a balance with enough content to fill baby without piling on the calorie or overfeeding.
Feeding should not be a rushed event, time should be taken, so that baby gets the feeling theyre getting full rather than eating quickly and by the time the feeling comes, they’ve eaten too much.
The education of parents I do feel is paramount, particularly those who fear that they might underfeed.
If you would like paediatric advice about feeding your baby, this book has recently been published and it receives excellent reviews. Well worth buying – follows your baby’s growth from birth through to 12months. Something to be considered however is if your babies were premature. Their feeding requirements may vary due to their early birth. However premature babies are much more closely monitored particularly in the first year so feeding issues are discussed and managed.
The Paediatricians Guide to Feeding Babies & Toddlers $13.05 from Amazon.com
Annabel Karmel in the UK is a brand name in baby feeding. She has some excellent books written on healthy foods and baby feeding choices that will be instrumental in giving your babies a good diet. I used one of her books to cook up delicious meals for my triplets.
The New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner is the latest from Annabel Karmel. £9.00 from Amazon.co.uk
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