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Novel methods of infant feeding in New Zealand - cause for concern or optimism?

48 months
Approved budget:
Professor Anne-Louise Heath
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Researchers, health professionals, and policy makers know surprisingly little about how and what infants are fed during their remarkable journey from consuming a 100% milk diet at birth, to consuming the same foods as their family around their first birthday. In fact, we don’t know what babies are eating in NZ even though there has been a revolution in infant feeding with domination of the market by baby food ‘pouches’, and massive popular uptake of Baby-Led Weaning (BLW), a virtually unstudied approach to introducing solids in which babies feed themselves 100% finger foods - from the start! The First Foods NZ study will determine the impact of pouches and BLW on iron deficiency, growth, choking and dental health in an observational study of 625 Dunedin and Auckland infants. The results will enable the Ministry of Health, health professionals, and Plunket to advise NZ parents on how to introduce solids safely.