New survey shows Ontario moms missing important basics when it comes to feeding baby

TORONTO, June 8, 2011 /CNW/ - New research released today from the Registered Dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Canada shows many Ontario moms are confused about navigating through those challenging months when infants are making the transition from exclusive breast feeding or formula, to introducing first foods and progressing to family meals.

"A clear understanding of infant feeding is crucial to raising healthy children," said infant feeding expert and Registered Dietitian, Joanne Saab. "Missing the basics can have long-lasting effects on babies' development and in the case of iron deficiency, may have serious implications."

The new research was conducted between March 31st and April 11th, 2011 by Research Management Group and involved 500 internet-based interviews among Ontario mothers. It was designed to:

1) determine new moms' knowledge of current guidelines for feeding infants and toddlers;
2) determine common misconceptions about feeding young children; and
3) identify challenges faced by new moms with regard to feeding their infant/toddler.

Overall, the research shows there is some confusion over key foods for babies' diet. The primary infant feeding concerns expressed by mothers in the survey, centre around the overall quality of food consumed (re: amount of sugar, salt, additives, preservatives) and whether children are getting proper nutrition through a balanced diet and enough foods.

"Ensuring infants and toddlers are getting the appropriate foods at the right time is key to healthy development," said Saab.  "This research shows some moms need more guidance and reassurance about what's best for baby."

Highlights of the research include:

  • 97% of the moms interviewed said they had a concern regarding feeding their infant/toddler;
  • Many parents are unaware of the importance of dietary iron at six months of age and only five per cent of them know meat and alternatives (iron rich foods) should be introduced as first foods;
  • A sizeable proportion of moms mistakenly believe lower fat cows' milk, rather than whole milk, is appropriate before age two; 43% of moms do not know at what age solid foods should be introduced;
  • Over 40% of moms are unaware plant-based beverages like soy, rice or almond beverages are not appropriate for young children under two years of age;
  • The majority of moms feel a child should be coaxed into trying a new food they refuse to eat;
  • One in four moms believes candy, chocolate or salty snacks can be introduced by 24 months.

Parents can test their own infant feeding know-how by taking a short quiz on the DFC web site. They can also get additional information and practical tips for feeding baby on the site

On the website, they will also find:

  • Myths and facts about infant feeding
  • A simple guide to feeding baby, current advice for every stage
  • Introduction to solids: How much does baby need?
  • Tips on preparing baby food

About Dairy Farmers of Canada
DFC is a national non-profit organization which employs Registered Dietitians to help Canadians maintain and adopt healthful eating and lifestyle practices. DFC's Registered Dietitians have advanced training in nutrition science, research, education and communication and work with like-minded individuals and organizations to help Canadians achieve their healthy eating goals

SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC)

For further information:

Josh Terry / Katy James
Trillium Corporate Communications Inc.
416-322-3030, ext. 239 / 232


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