Edit ModuleShow Tags

Skip The Spoon

Babies may eat better when they feed themselves.


Published:

Spooning strained peas into a baby is the traditional way to start solid food. But babies might be better off feeding themselves.

Baby eating with handsThat's the surprising result of a new study that compared the food preferences and weight of babies who fed themselves finger food with those who were spoon-fed.

Both groups of children had equal exposure to snack foods. But the babies who fed themselves preferred carbohydrates like toast, pasta or potatoes, while the spoon-fed children went for sweets when given a choice.

istockphoto.com

You'd think the children who controlled their own eating would be heavier, but not so. The spoon-fed crew was the one that was more likely to be obese as toddlers. Eight of the 63 spoon-fed children became obese, while none of the 63 self-feeding children were.

"That was interesting," says Ellen Townsend, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham in England, who led the study. "Maybe with spoon feeding, if you've lovingly prepared a delicious portion, and you might want to get that portion into that child. There may be a temptation to try to get in an extra spoonful or two."

The "self-weaning babies" might like carbs because they're easier to chew and tend to have nice textures, the researchers say. They want to do further research to see if breast-feeding and picky eating play a role.

Read more on NPR.

 

More articles on NJ Baby:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

6 STEM Toys Baby Will Love

Get your lil' genius into science, tech, engineering and math with these early learning toys.

Does Your Tot Need Glasses?

How to know if your little one needs specs.

5 Tips to Help Your Newborn Sleep

We asked the experts for genius ideas to get baby to bed quicker and longer.

Signs Your Baby Has a Food Allergy

Suspect she’s allergic? Here’s what to look for.

Baby Carriers You and Your Mini Will Love

Keep baby close with these cozy carriers.

Add your comment: