Lege Artis Medicinae

[Feeding and eating in infancy and early childhood part II. - Breastfeeding, complementary feeding and weaning in the Large-sample of the “For Healthy Offspring” project]

NÉMETH Tünde, VÁRADY Erzsébet, DANIS Ildikó, SCHEURING Noémi, SZABÓ László

AUGUST 30, 2018

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2018;28(06-07)

[INTRODUCTION - Complementary feed-ing is the transitional period from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods, while breastfeeding is continued. It should be started, when breastmilk itself no longer meets the infant’s nutritional requirements, ideally at the age of around 6 months. SUBJECTS AND METHODS - In the Healthy Offspring project self reported questionnaires were received from 1133 parents of 0-3 year old children. Comple­mentary feeding practices and issues of weaning were analyzed. RESULTS - In our sample complementary feeding was started at the age of 5.5±1.8 months. 6% of infants younger than 4 months and about two third of infants at the age between 4 and 6 months were started on complementary feeding. 32% of the 7-12 month old infants were continued on breastfeeding. The proportion of breastfed infants and young children in the 12-24 and 25-36 month age group was 24% and 5.5% respectively. The daily feeding frequency of breastfed infants was 6.7±1.6. The infants and young children, who were breastfed along with complementary feeding were feeding 5.6±1.5 times/day. After completed weaning the range of feeding frequency was limited to 4.9±0.9 occasions/day. 60.4% of mothers regarded their feeding style on demand, while 39.6% on set schedule. 16% of mothers reported that their child had feeding difficulties. CONCLUSIONS - Complementary feeding indicators should be part of infant feeding data collection, such as time of introduction of complementary food, feeding frequency, food consistency, energy density of food and safe preparation. Responsive feeding is part of responsive parenting and should be promoted, along with continuing breastfeeding at least till one year of age, and for as long as mother and infant wish to continue. ]

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