Diet record data were used to determine nutrient intake, the percentage of foods currently adult or self-fed, the percentage of foods currently fed as purées or finger foods, and whether any of the following foods were offered: foods thought to pose a choking risk (described below), iron-fortified infant cereal, red meat (defined as beef or lamb), foods with sugar added (ie, test for proportions (table 2).Since current feeding practices were skewed, medians and IQRs for each group were calculated and a Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test was used to determine if the groups differed.Kai-culator uses the New Zealand food composition database, FOODfiles;14 nutrient data for commonly consumed recipes collated in the 2008/2009 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey;15 and nutrient data for commercial infant foods calculated by the research team.16 Breast milk intake was assumed to be 750 g/day based on a quadratic curve fitted to the breast milk volumes reported by Dewey 17 with the amount of infant formula consumed subtracted from this total if infants were mixed fed.
This same technique was used to compare the number of infants who had the same or nearly the same meal ingredients and preparation as the family at mealtimes.
An unstructured working correlation was used for these analyses.
Mothers were asked to state “…what approach to infant feeding you were using around the time you completed the food diary: ‘Spoon-feeding’ or ‘Baby-Led Weaning’ or ‘Other’.” Parents who reported following BLW were assigned to the full BLW group, whereas those who reported following a mixture of spoon feeding and BLW were assigned to the partial BLW group.
Parents who were spoon feeding their child (without reporting BLW) were assigned to the TSF group. The demographic questionnaire collected information on: infant date of birth, sex, ethnicity (New Zealand Census questions13), birth weight and gestational age at birth; and maternal date of birth and parity.
Inclusion criteria for this study were: infant 6–8 months of age when the WDR was completed, mother able to communicate in English or Te Reo Māori (the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand) and mother 16 years of age or older.
Exclusion criteria were: infant born before 37 weeks gestation; or presence of a congenital abnormality, physical condition or intellectual disability likely to affect the infant's feeding or growth.
In BLW, infants are not spoon fed at all, but instead feed themselves whole pieces of food, preferably from the family meal, from the onset of complementary feeding.3 4Proponents of this baby-led approach suggest that it allows the infant to be in control of how much food they eat, as they are in the first few months of life if they are breast fed.
It is proposed that this control over their own feeding may allow the infant who is following BLW to respond better to hunger and satiety cues than a baby who is spoon fed by someone else.
The only study to date that has collected dietary information about BLW was a pilot study in just 11 families that focused on parental diet.