A review of feeding trends in the UK.
The 2005 edition of the Infant Feeding Survey1
published by the Department of Health (DH) has provided some interesting statistics on current infant feeding practices and trends in the UK.
When this survey was conducted the DH recommendations (to delay the introduction of solid foods until 6 months) had been in place for around 4 years.
The survey results showed that in 2005 only 2% of parents were waiting until 6 months to introduce solid foods to their infants, with the majority of parents introducing solid foods between 4 and 6 months. Nevertheless, since the introduction of the new DH recommendation there has been an encouraging trend towards solids being introduced later, with a lower proportion of mothers introducing solids before 4 months (Figure 1).
The average age at which solid foods are introduced has now shifted from 15 weeks in 2000 to 19 weeks in 2005.Figure 1: This chart shows a trend towards mothers introducing solid foods later. In 2005 only 51% of mothers introduced solid foods by 17 weeks, as opposed to 85% of mothers in 2000.
Did you know?
Click here to view Infant Feeding SurveClick here for information on Cow & Gate Growing Up Milk for toddlers from 1 - 2 years.Click here for Infant and Toddler Forum website where you will find useful factsheets relating to Weaning
- Younger mothers, those with a lower socioeconomic status and those that are less well educated are more likely to introduce solids earlier1.
- The most common reason given by mothers for introducing solid foods is their perception that their baby is no longer satisfied with milk feeds1.
- Mothers who introduce solid foods later are far more likely to have based their decision on Healthcare Professional advice, while those that introduce solid foods earlier are more likely to have based their decision on their experience with a previous child and informal advice from friends and families1.
For parents - for practical advice and information and advice weaning and suitable products, visit the Cow & Gate website using this link:
Cow & Gate parents website – information and advice about weaning
Cow & Gate ‘Weaning Guide’
for mumsFSA ‘