Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatrics. 2012 Dec;130(6):1038-45. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-3838. Epub 2012 Nov 12.

Timing of the introduction of complementary foods in infancy: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali, The National University Hospital of Iceland, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. olofhej@landspitali.is

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To increase knowledge on iron status and growth during the first 6 months of life. We hypothesized that iron status would be better in infants who received complementary foods in addition to breast milk compared with those exclusively breastfed.

METHODS:

One hundred nineteen healthy term (≥37 weeks) singleton infants were randomly assigned to receive either complementary foods in addition to breast milk from age 4 months (CF) or to exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months (EBF). Dietary data were collected by 3-day weighed food records, and data on iron status and growth were also collected.

RESULTS:

One hundred infants (84%) completed the trial. Infants in the CF group had higher mean serum ferritin levels at 6 months (P = .02), which remained significant when adjusted for baseline characteristics. No difference was seen between groups in iron deficiency anemia, iron deficiency, or iron depletion. The average daily energy intake from complementary foods of 5-month-olds in the CF group was 36.8 kJ per kg body weight. Infants in both groups grew at the same rate between 4 and 6 months of age.

CONCLUSIONS:

In a high-income country, adding a small amount of complementary food in addition to breast milk to infants' diets from 4 months of age does not affect growth rate between 4 and 6 months, but has a small and positive effect on iron status at 6 months. The biological importance of this finding remains to be determined.

PMID:
23147979
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2011-3838
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center