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20 June 2013

Got Milk?

Kathleen Pitcher Tobey

American Academy of Pediatrics’s study encourages women to wait before introducing their baby to solid foods.

As a working mom with two young children, I know all too well about the challenges of providing your children with what they need on a daily basis. And everyone always has a suggestion about what you should or should not do. From grandmothers to media outlets, people feel free to tout the latest wives’ tale or medical news tidbit. If you’re like me, you read endless books and online articles about the latest recommendations for getting your child to eat their veggies, love reading or develop good manners.

While all that free (and sometimes conflicting) advice can leave your mind reeling, a recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides some simple, straightforward guidance for moms with infants. The research suggests that 40 percent of moms introduce solid foods too early in their babies’ lives. The Academy (a well-respected, national organization for pediatricians) recommends moms wait to give their children solid foods until they are 4 to 6 months old.  At that age, your child’s body is developmentally ready for the transition from breast milk and formula. Feeding your kids solids too soon can lead to unhealthy outcomes later in life including obesity, diabetes and allergies.

I know, I know.  Every mom has experienced an exhausting, sleepless night with a crying baby and the endless quest to find just the right remedy for what ails him (and you). He’s hungry. He’s big enough for solid foods to fill that little tummy and let him and you get some sleep! But not so fast. Take a deep breath, remember this study and most importantly, talk to your pediatrician about what is best for you and your baby.

For some quick, easy tips on what and when to feed your child, including age-specific guidelines, visit this section of the Academy’s Healthy Children website.

Here’s to you and your healthy child!