There is considerable debate as to whether infants should be exclusively breastfed for as long as possible. Whether solid foods should be added as soon as possible. We will not rule on this issue either, but science has some interesting news on this subject. That can help us easily consider how to feed our babies in the first few months.
In most countries and cultures, babies receive their first solid foods around the age of 4-6 months, more precisely something that is no longer breast milk. Many people around this time start to take an interest in the food their family consumes and their appetite grows. But what do we do with the baby, who has been snatching bananas and sausages from our hands at the age of five months?
The World Health Organization has published a report about a decade ago that infants under the age of six months are only recommended to breastfeed.
Not all parents follow this 6-month rule, although websites that deal with this topic usually still provide this advice. Several of them also warn parents that if they start weaning earlier than 6 months, they should avoid potentially allergenic foods such as peanuts and eggs because this could cause babies to be allergic later.
“All this is completely contrary to the results of the latest research”
Says Elissa Abrams of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg in a recent review. Numerous studies suggest that in order to avoid the development of food allergies, it is better for infants from the age of 4 months to be careful but get it from the simplest, most easily digestible fruits. An experiment published this year showed that the best way to avoid peanut allergy, one of the most common food allergies, is to give it to babies from 4 months of age.
Surveys and observational studies suggest that babies may benefit from exposure to wheat, eggs, and cow’s milk as soon as possible, while there are concerns that delayed weaning may be due to iron deficiency in breast milk. It May cause anemia.
One criticism of the WHO’s position was that the old rule could be more effective in developing countries, where long-term breastfed infants are less likely to be exposed to contaminated water while those at greater risk. ۔ This risk is very low in developed countries.
But in the meantime, scientific thinking has also changed. Pregnant women were previously told to avoid consuming peanuts. A 2013 study showed that this actually increased the likelihood of their babies developing a peanut allergy.
Time to change the separation board? Despite his writing, Abrams still finds breastfeeding useful for 6 months. Other expert groups offer very different advice, so this decision is not easy for mothers. According to the European Food Safety Authority, weaning from the age of 4 months is already in order. The British Dietetic Association says that although parents should set a target of 6 months. It is worth considering on an individual basis as children have somewhat different needs individually.
“Sometimes they almost get their food out of their hands before they’re six months old.”