Weaning advice confusion as out-of-date guidance is handed down within families
A new review of the challenges of weaning as a modern parent, plus the changing advice on feeding eggs, in particular, to babies, has just been carried out by expert Bridget Halnan - Fellow of the Institute of Health Visiting.
Many parents are still unsure about when and how to start introducing solid food to babies, with some struggling with a plethora of conflicting advice.
The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities recently found that after partners, maternal grandmothers have the biggest influence on a mother’s decision about when to start weaning and what foods to begin with. However, grandmothers are sometimes out-of-date on current feeding advice, especially when it comes to eggs, where it has changed so much in recent years.
In 2017, the Food Standards Agency changed its advice about eating runny eggs and confirmed that eggs with the British Lion mark can safely be eaten runny or raw by vulnerable groups such as young children, pregnant women, and elderly people.
This new expert review also shares recent research which recommends that eggs are introduced early to help reduce the risk of egg allergy later in life. This, combined with them being a rich source of protein and containing essential vitamins and minerals which support growth and development, means they are a valuable early food for babies.
In the current cost-of-living crisis, eggs provide a cost-effective, natural and healthy option, rather than alternative expensive commercial food targeted at the early years market.
Bridget Halnan said: “Weaning advice from older family members can sometimes be outdated and misleading. That’s how foods that can play such a vital role in ensuring optimal nutrition for infants get taken off the menu, like eggs. Eggs are so quick and easy for parents to turn into meals that babies will enjoy - from smoothly scrambled to soft boiled dippy eggs. They are cost-effective too, perfect in the current economic climate, where financial pressures are increasing on families.”