Feeding Babies? The Internet is Not Your Friend!

This morning when I was checking my social media I came across an article entitled ‘Foods Real Nutritionists Feed Their Babies And Toddlers’ it was shared on an American parenting site (among other places) but it originated from a some sort of American blog site. Obviously I clicked and started reading. And here my frustrations began – before I’d even had my first cup of coffee (yes real nutritionists drink coffee. A lot of coffee when you have a baby!)

Now I should say, this article is American and whilst it’s utterly nonsensical, there are big differences in weaning practices between the US and the UK. For a start the word ‘weaning’ does not refer to the introduction of solid food in the US. To me it makes little sense but it really comes down to cultural practices and what the local Governments advise, but often the information given is just out of date or plain wrong. For example, “It’s good to start with bland foods, like fortified cereal mixed with breast milk or formula to get your baby acclimated to solids”. What? Current research suggests babies are far more accepting of different flavours early on in weaning and so it makes sense to capitalise on this. So here’s the first problem in using social media or online articles as your point of reference. Do you know where in the world this info is coming from? It’s

not always easy to spot.

So what do nutritionists feed their babies? Well it turns out that the title of this article is a little misleading (clickbaity some might say?). It’s actually a (very poor) summary by a journalist of ‘how to wean your baby’ using quotes from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and dieticians. Followed by some suggestions for toddler foods. And the problem with this is that it’s probably an unqualified writing the piece, meaning statements and references may be taken out of context and when pulled together, give incorrect advice. This is the only reason I can find for a dietician advising parents to let their child dip vegetables into ketchup or ranch dressing!

That’s not to say there is nothing of worth within this article, there are some good points made such as "There is no such thing [as a baby-friendly food]! If I'm eating it, she can eat it.” But again, it’s suggested that this is only applicable after baby is 12 months old! And there is a lot of missing

information such as warning about the salt levels in pre-made dips such as hummus.

So if you really want to know what nutritionists feed their babies and toddlers give us a little follow on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube and check out our website for regular blog posts. And of course come along to one of our Weaning in Nutshell Workshops! We’re always open to suggestions as to how we can help you all so just drop us a line with any ideas!

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