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Estimated energy and nutrient intake for infants following baby‐led and traditional weaning approaches
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume: 35, Issue: 2
Accepted Manuscript under embargo until: 20th December 2022
Baby-led weaning (BLW), where infants self-feedwithout the use of spoon-feeding by a caregiver, continues to be a popular approach to starting solids. However, concerns remain amongst health professionals that infants using this method may not consume sufficient energy or nutrients from solid foods....
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Baby-led weaning (BLW), where infants self-feedwithout the use of spoon-feeding by a caregiver, continues to be a popular approach to starting solids. However, concerns remain amongst health professionals that infants using this method may not consume sufficient energy or nutrients from solid foods. Little research has examined how different weaning approaches shape dietary intake. The aim of this study was to use a three-day weighed diet diary to measure estimated energy and nutrient intake in infants aged 6-12 months. Diet diaries were completed by 71 parents and analysed to compareestimated infant intake from milk and solid foods for those either following a BLW or traditional spoon-feeding approach (TW). Intake was analysed for each weaning group in two age groups: 26-39 and 40-52 weeks, to account for different eating patterns at the start and end of the weaning process. For the younger infants, significant differences in estimatedenergy intake were found, with TW infants consuming 285 kcal from solid foods compared with 120 kcal for BLW infants. Conversely, BLW infants consumed more calories and nutrients from breast or formula milk, consistent with a slower transition to solid foods. No differences were found in estimated intake amongst older infants suggesting BLW infants had 'caught up' with their spoon-fed peers. Overall, few infantsregardless of weaning group met recommended intake guidelines for energy (either over or under consuming) with many deficient in iron and zinc intake. The findings are important for those supporting parents through the transition to solid foods. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. [Abstract copyright: This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.]
baby-led weaning; complementary feeding; energy intake; infant feeding; nutrient intake, weighed diet diary
College of Human and Health Sciences