When Introduction of Solids Gets Complicated
The introduction of solids [IOS] to infants is quite a complex process. It involves helping a baby manage to move from relying totally on breast or formula milk to eventually relying totally on other food. Overall there are some general principles and then there are issues to consider as each baby is different.
I am writing this as a dietitian who has always had to deal practically with difficult infant feeding problems. I have had a unique experience where I have learned much about the problems that occur when families try to solve problems when feeding solids becomes difficult, or where food sensitivity is suspected. In researching food sensitivity I learned about issues that were not considered before: – eating delay, supersensitivity in food sensitive families, and how to introduce solids to food sensitive babies, including those with reflux. As a public health nutritionist I have also been aware of the muddles that people can get into when they choose to plan what they feed their babies. In chapter 1 of Fussy Babies (available May 2010) I will address some reasons why general recommendations on the introduction of solids are not detailed enough for many parents. Guidelines that apply generally are important and fortunately most children sail through infancy to normal eating habits. At the other end of the spectrum we all know that there are clear medical reasons why some infants are not eating well. In the chapter I am recognising the group in the middle where the introduction of solids can be very distressing.
The chapter covers the following topics
- What needs to happen through the introduction of solids?
- A brief look at the history of Introduction of Solids over the last 100 years
- Do children naturally choose a nutritionally balanced diet?
- Introduction of Solids as a learning process for the child
- Knowledge in the family should be used
- Separation of Introduction of Solids from weaning from breast or formula milk
- Introduction of Solids for the normal child – earliest and latest times
- Nutritional aspects
- Introduction of Solids as a developmental process
- Introduction of Solids for the prevention of allergy.
- What about exposure to allergens via breast milk?
- IOS for the treatment of existing food allergy symptoms.
- Is the baby food sensitive?
- Introduction of solids to food sensitive babies
- Supersensitivity in some children
- Waking at night
- Each mother and baby are unique