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February 7, 2011

Feeding babies solids too early may make fat toddlers

Just for once, I would like to see the American Academy of Pediatrics make recommendations for babies who cannot be breastfed. . .preemies, babies with allergies, adopted babies and mothers who cannot breastfeed. Both of my kids were premature and on special formula w/o any choice.

It's not what babies eat at 4 mos that makes them gain too much weight; it's what they eat at 18 to 36 months.

Feeding babies solids too early may make fat toddlers

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new mothers breast-feed their babies for at least six months and introduce solid foods between 4 and 6 months. This new study finds that among formula-fed babies, those who were given solid foods before age 4 months had a higher risk of becoming obese.

But Dr. Frank Greer, former chairperson of the AAP Committee on Nutrition, is puzzled by the fact that the researchers didn't find an increase in weight gain in the children who were introduced to solids early.

"They didn't show that there was any increase in rate of growth in the formula-fed babies before that {age 3}. It makes me wonder if this is just a marker for people that introduced solid foods between 2 – 4 months, that their overall diet is poor in general," suggests Greer.