To Curb Obesity, Give Babies Finger Food

Don't feed them pureed meals: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2012 5:31 PM CST
To Curb Obesity, Give Babies Finger Food
Babies may face a lower risk of obesity if they're given finger food when they're being weaned.   (Shutterstock)

Babies may face a lower risk of obesity if they feed themselves finger food when they're first learning to eat solids, a study suggests. Researchers found that babies who were spoon-fed pureed food developed more of a propensity for sweets than did their finger-fed counterparts; the kids who munched finger food, in a process known as "baby-led weaning," showed more interest in carbs like pasta and rice, AFP reports.

Researchers in Britain studied 155 kids aged between 20 months and six and a half years, asking parents to fill out questionnaires about the children's eating. The children who ate pureed food were offered more healthy meals, but they were more interested in sweets than were those in the finger-food group, who ate foods like chunks of fruit and small pieces of toast. Members of the finger-food group were also less likely to be obese by the end of their weaning period. "This has implications for combating the well-documented rise of obesity in contemporary societies," researchers said. (Read more babies stories.)

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