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Weaning - the transition from milk to solid food - influences life-long health. Dietary challenges during weaning include providing sufficient critical nutrients such as iron with minimal added sugar and fat and no added salt. This study assessed the inclusion of iron-containing red meat in infant diets before age one year, and the Irish commercial baby food environment. Of mothers with an infant under 30 months of age who were surveyed in shopping centres in Ireland (n195), 82% (n159) reported wanting more weaning information. A quarter (n24) of infants over age 12 months (n97) received no iron-containing red meat before age one year. A scan of commercial baby foods in Ireland identified 448 products. While all complied with baby food legislation, 15% (n69) were intrinsically high in sugar and fat, or contained added salt. This study indicates the need for specific guidance on best infant feeding practice in Ireland.
Bennett, A, O'Connor, A., Canning, N., Kenny, A., Keaveney, E., Younger, K., Flynn, M. (2012) Weaning Onto Solid foods: Some of the Challenges. Irish Medical Journal, Sept. vol. 105, no.8, 2012, pp.266-268. doi:10.21427/D7RH06