Parental beliefs and practices regarding early introduction of solid foods to their children

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This study was a cross-sectional survey of primary female caregivers during their childs 4-month well-child visit. Our objectives were to document current caregiver awareness of infant feeding guidelines, and calculate the frequency of and reasons for early introduction of solid foods. Questionnaires were completed for 102 children. Forty-five respondents (44%) introduced solids at less than 4 months of age. Hispanic caregivers, OR 0.2 (0.07-0.9), and those who breastfed (partial or exclusive), OR 0.4 (0.2-0.9), were less likely to introduce cereal at less than 4 months of age. Among caregivers who introduced solids at less than 4 months, 36 (80%) stated that the child was not satisfied with formula or breast milk alone and 24 (53%) stated that solids helped the child sleep better at night. Thirty-four caregivers (76%) who started solids at less than 4 months were aware of guidelines regarding proper infant feeding practices. Despite knowledge of infant feeding guidelines, female caregivers frequently introduce solids at less than 4 months of age. Early targeted anticipatory guidance is needed to address the most common reasons caregivers begin solid foods before the recommended age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalClinical pediatrics
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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