sweet potato

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Commercial baby food is often a humanitarian relief item. Delivery ofinfant formulamay be criticized because it can discouragebreastfeedingand the local water supply may be contaminated after a disaster, making powdered formula unsafe.

Baby foodis any soft, easily consumedfoodother thanbreastmilkorinfant formulathat is made specifically for humanbabiesbetween four to six months and two years old. The food comes in many varieties and flavors that are purchased ready-made from producers. Or it may be table food eaten by the family that has been mashed or otherwise broken down.

As of 2011, theWorld Health OrganizationUNICEFand many national health agencies recommended waiting until six months of age before starting a child on food;1individual babies may differ greatly from this guideline based on their unique developmental progress. Baby food can be given when the child is developmentally ready to eat. Signs of readiness include the ability to sit without help, loss oftongue thrust, and the display of active interest in food that others are eating.

As a globalpublic healthrecommendation, theWorld Health Organizationrecommends that infants should be exclusivelybreastfedfor the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Most six-month-old infants are physiologically and developmentally ready for new foods, textures and modes of feeding.2Experts advising theWorld Health Assemblyhave provided evidence that introducing solids earlier than six months increases babies chances of illness, without improving growth.3

One of the health concerns associated with the introduction of solid foods before six months isiron deficiency. The early introduction of complementary foods may satisfy the hunger of the infant, resulting in less frequent breastfeeding and ultimately less milk production in the mother. Because iron absorption from human milk is depressed when the milk is in contact with other foods in the proximal small bowel, early use of complementary foods may increase the risk of iron depletion and anemia.2

In Canadasodiumcontent in infant food is regulated; strained fruit, fruit juice, fruit drink, and cereal cannot be sold if sodium has been added (excluding strained desserts). Foods naturally containing sodium are limited to 0.05 – 0.25 grams per 100 grams of food, depending on the type of infant food.4

If there is a family history of allergies, one may wish to introduce only one new food at a time, leaving a few days in between to notice any reactions that would indicate afood allergyor sensitivity. This way, if the child is unable to tolerate a certain food, it can be determined which food is causing the reaction.citation needed

Meeting the nutritional needs of infants as they grow is essential for their healthy development.5Feeding infants inappropriately or insufficiently can cause major illnesses and effect their physical and mental development.5Educational campaigns that share information on when to introduce solid foods, appropriate types of foods to feed an infant, and hygiene practices are effective at improving these feeding practices.5

Newborns need a diet of breastmilk or infant formula. About 40% of thefood energyin these milks comes from carbohydrates, mostly from a simple sugar calledlactose.6

As shown in the 2008Feeding Infants and Toddlersstudy, the overall diet of babies and toddlers, the primary consumers of baby food, generally meets or significantly exceeds the recommended amount ofmacronutrients.7Toddlers and preschoolers generally ate too littledietary fiber, and preschoolers generally ate too muchsaturated fat, although the overall fat intake was lower than recommended.7Micronutrient levels were typically within the recommended levels. A small group of older infants in the American study needed more iron and zinc, such as from iron-fortified baby foods.7A substantial proportion of toddlers and preschoolers exceeded the upper recommended level of synthetic folate, preformed vitamin A, zinc, and sodium (salt).7

The World Health Organization recommends starting in small amounts that gradually increase as the child gets older: 2 to 3 meals per day for infants 6 to 8 months of age and 3 to 4 meals per day for infants 9 to 23 months of age, with 1 or 2 additional snacks as required.

Baby foods are either a soft, liquid paste or an easily chewed food since babies lack developed muscles and teeth to effectively chew. Babies typically move to consuming baby food oncenursingor formula is not sufficient for the childs appetite. Babies do not need to have teeth to transition to eating solid foods. Teeth, however, normally do begin to show up at this age. Care should be taken with certain foods that pose a choking hazard, such as undercooked vegetables, grapes, or food that may contain bones. Babies begin eating liquid style baby food consisting of pureed vegetables and fruits, sometimes mixed withrice cerealand formula, orbreastmilk. Then, as the baby is better able to chew, small, soft pieces or lumps may be included. Care should be taken, as babies with teeth have the ability to break off pieces of food but they do not possess the back molars to grind, so food can be carefully mashed or prechewed, or broken into manageable pieces for their baby. Around 6 months of age, babies may begin to feed themselves (picking up food pieces with hands, using the whole fist, or later thepincer grasp[the thumb and forefinger]) with help from parents.

Homemade baby food is less expensive than commercial baby foods.8Homemade food is appropriate only when the family has a sufficient and varied diet, as well as access to refrigeration and basic sanitation.8It is important to follow proper sanitation methods when preparing homemade baby food such as washing and rinsing vegetables or fruit, as well as the cooking and packaging materials that will be used.

Homemade food requires more preparation time than opening a jar or box of ready-to-eat commercial baby food. Food may need to bemincedorpureedfor young babies, or cooked separately without the salt, intense spices, or sugar that the family chooses to eat.8Avocados and bananas are foods that can be easily mashed and are high in vitamins and nutrients, making them ideal starter foods for an infant 6 months in age or older.

Through the first year, breastmilk or infant formula is the main source of calories and nutrients.

Babies may be started directly on normal family food if attention is given to choking hazards; this is calledbaby-led weaning. Because breastmilk takes on the flavor of foods eaten by the mother,9these foods are especially good choices.10

NestlsFeeding Infants and Toddlers Study(FITS) of 2008 indicates that few American babies are fed baby food before the age of four months.11

On a typical day about half of American babies aged four and five months old are fedinfant cereal. The baby may have eaten as little as one small bite of infant cereal, or even as little as one small bite of a food that contains infant cereal mixed with other foods. Other types of grain-based foods are rare at that age. About 90% of babies aged six to twelve months eat some type of grain, although only half eat infant cereal. The others eat rice, bread, crackers, pasta, or cereal designed for older children.

On any given day, about 20% of babies aged four and five months eat some type of fruit, usually a prepared baby food.

As with all of these, this may represent as little as one small bite of fruit or a food partly composed of fruit. Two-thirds of babies aged six to nine months, and between 75% and 85% of babies and toddlers older than nine months, eat some type of fruit. At age six to nine months, half of babies are eating prepared baby food fruits, but toddlers aged 12 months and older primarily eat non-baby food fruits, such as fresh bananas or canned fruits. Apple and bananas are common fruits for babies of all ages. Fruit juice, primarily apple and grape juice, is usually introduced later than fruit, and about half of older babies and toddlers drink some type of 100% fruit juice.

In a typical day, about a quarter of babies aged four and five months eat some type of vegetable at least once, almost always prepared baby food, and usually a yellow or orange vegetable like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, andwinter squash.

At age six to nine months, about 60% of babies and about 70% older babies and toddlers eat vegetables, with baby food vegetables rapidly being replaced by cooked vegetables after about nine months. Raw vegetables are uncommon for all babies and toddlers. By the first birthday, almost a third of babies eat potatoes on a given day.

Very few four- and five-month-old American babies eat meat or other protein source (excluding milk).

Six- to nine-month-old babies mostly eat meat as part of a baby food that contains a small amount of meat along with vegetables or grains. About three-quarters of nine- to twelve-month-old babies are given either meat or another protein source, such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, beans, or nuts. More than 90% of babies aged 12 to 18 months old, and nearly all toddlers older than that, are given a protein source at least once a day. Almost three-quarters of these toddlers are given a non-baby food meat; prepared baby food meat (by itself) is uncommon at any age.

Sweet and salty foods are uncommon for babies.

Compared to a prior study in 2002, the number of babies under age nine months that received any sort of sweetened food, snack, or beverage, had dropped by nearly half. At age nine to twelve months, fewer than half of babies are given sweetened foods like cookies, ice cream, or fruit-flavored drinks. Prepared baby food desserts are uncommon at any age, but are given to almost 12% of babies age nine to twelve months.

Some commercial baby food companies have expanded their lines to produce specialty foods for toddlers from the age of about 12 months to two and a half years old.12These include juice, cereal, small microwaveable meals, baked goods, and other foods that have been formulated and marketed for toddlers.

In the late 1940s,Gerber Products CompanyandBeech-Nutproduced special cookbooks to promote the sale of commercial baby foods for use by elderly, sick,南京夜网 or disabled people.13

Parents and/or caregivers may perceive up to half of toddlers as being picky or faddy, with the peak around 24 months.1415Adults who hold this opinion often stop offering new foods to the child after only three to five attempts, rather than continuing to offer the food until the child has tasted it eight to fifteen times. They may also engage in counterproductive behaviors, such as offering appetite-suppressing milk or other favorite foods as an alternative, or trying to force or bribe the child into eating.16

Baby food varies from culture to culture. In many cultures, pastes of a grain and liquids are the first baby food. In human history and presently with many cultures around the world, babies are fed foodpremasticatedby the caretaker of the baby in order to pulverise the food and start the digestion process.17An infants first bite of solid food is ceremonial and holds religious importance in many cultures. An example of this isannaprashan, a Hindu ritual where the infant is fed a sweetened rice porridge, usually blessed, by an elder family member. Similar rites of passage are practiced across Asia, including theBengalregion,Vietnam, andThailand.citation needed

In the Western world until the mid-1900s, baby food was generally made at home. The industrial revolution saw the beginning of the baby food market which promoted commercial baby foods as convenience items.18In developed countries, babies are now often started with commercially produced iron-fortified infant cereals,2and then move on to mashed fruits and vegetables. Commercial baby foods are widely available in dry, ready-to-feed and frozen forms, often in small batches (e.g. small jars) for convenience of preparation. On the contrary, in developing countries, breastfeeding is more widely accepted and socially tolerated in public, thus creating a societal contrast. Amy Bentley, author ofInventing Baby Food, talks about how infant feeding reflects ones position in the postwar era of the American Century because in developed countries, families are able to purchase processed baby foods to feed their children, whereas in developing country, natural breastfeeding is more popular.19

Commercially prepared baby foods in theNetherlandswere first prepared by Martinus van der Hagen through hisNV Nutriciacompany in 1901.20In United States they were first prepared by Harold Clapp who sold Clapps Baby Food in the 1920s.21TheFremont Canning Company, now called theGerber Products Company, started in 1927.12TheBeech-Nutcompany entered the U.S. baby food market in 1931.22The first precooked dried baby food wasPablumwhich was originally made for sick children in the 1930s. Other commercial baby food manufacturers includeH. J. Heinz CompanyNestlNutriciaandOrganix. Heinz produced dehydrated baby food in the 1980s.23The demand from parents fororganic foodbegan to grow in the 1960scitation needed; since then, many larger commercial manufacturers have introduced organic lines of infant food.

At the beginning of the 20th century in America, most babies began eating baby food around the age of seven months.13During and shortly after World War II, the age at which solid food was first introduced dropped to just six weeks.13This age has since increased to four to six months.13By the mid-20th century, manufactured baby food was readily used and supplemented previous infant feeding practices. Author ofInventing Baby Food,Amy Bentleyargues that the excessive additives of sugar, salt, and MSG in overused manufactured baby food conditioned infants to preferprocessed foodslater in life. Also, it is believed that exposing infants to solid foods at an earlier age well help them get used to foods later on in life.19This subsequent misuse of salt and sugar was also feared to effect issues of weight and nutrition based diseases.13

InChinaand othereast Asiancountries, homemade baby food remains common, and babies are started on rice porridge calledxifan, then move on to mashed fruits, soft vegetables,tofuand fish.24InSweden, it is common to start with mashed fruit, such as bananas, as well as oatmeal and mashed vegetables. In westernAfricamaizeporridge is often the first solid food given to young children.25

, a liquid pap from sorghum or maize

The pap is held in the mothers cupped hand and poured into the babys mouth. The mother may force-feed the baby if the baby resists swallowing it.

porridge or gruel made of millet or rice, perhaps with fish or potatoes

7 months for girls and 10 months for boys

Children feed themselves, with their right hands, from a bowl.

The mother or caregiver feeds the baby with a cup or spoon.

Powdered milk was often given to newborns before 3 months of age. After 6 months, most babies ate beans and rice or whatever the family ate. Adult foods were broken into small bits and fed from the mothers hand.

cornmeal orIncaparinagruel, eggs, and fruit juice

Mothers normally chose suitable food from among what the family was eating. Cornmeal gruel was often given in a bottle.

Children were normally allowed to feed themselves, unless they were ill. Urban children were given solid foods sooner than rural children.

Powdered milk was often given to newborns before 1 month of age. Milk and juice were usually given in a bottle. Fruits and vegetables were usually introduced before meat and beans, and grains were usually last.

porridge of rice flour or maize, cooked with butter

Babies are fed from their mothers hands.

dry finger foods, rice or rice-like foods

The food is held in the caregivers hands. Babies were given very small amounts of solid food multiple times each day.

Mothers pre-chewed grains that they were cooking for the rest of the family, mixed them with water or butter, and used their fingers to put the food in their babys mouth. Babies in Hindu families were fed rice at the age of 3 weeks in the celebration ofAnnaprashana( in NepalPasni), but did not regularly eat food until later. Many start with rice porridge (jaulo) and powdered cereals porridge(lito). Many mothers work on farms, and the introduction of solid foods often happened at the start of busy agricultural times.

(a rice porridge), mashed fruits or vegetables, or soft bread

mashed papaya, sweet potato, pumpkin, and banana

Water, vegetable broth and peeled sugar cane were given to young infants as an extra source of fluids. Liquids were given in a bowl, cup, or bamboo straw. Taro and meat were withheld until the baby was about a year old. Traditionally, babies were not given solid foods until they could walk.

pre-chewed taro with water or sweet potato cooked in coconut milk

Many pagan mothers began feeding their babies solid foods within 1 to 2 months after birth; they thoroughly chew the food and feed it mouth-to-mouth for the first few months. This was also a common practice for feeding a hungry baby if the mother was temporarily unavailable.Sukurumothers usually began feeding solid foods between 6 and 9 months. Some fed babies mouth-to-mouth; others pre-chewed, boiled, or mashed the food and gave it to the baby in a spoon or the babys hand.

soup, then mashed or pre-chewed yams or taro

infant cereal, and later pureed fruits or vegetables

Cereal was mixed with infant formula and given in a bottle, or fed to the baby with a spoon. Poor women began feeding solid foods much earlier than wealthier women.

Some commercial baby foods have been criticized for their contents and cost.27

Over the decades, there have been multiple recalls of baby foods because of concerns about contamination or spoilage. In 1984 and 1986, Gerber was involved in a scandal over glass baby food jars breaking in transit, which dramatically affected its sales and profitability, although the USFood and Drug Administrationlater concluded that the company was not at fault.12In 1987, Beechnut paid US $25 million to resolve charges of selling adulteratedapple juicein the early 1980s.12In 2011,NestlFrance decided to recall a batch ofPtit potbaby food as a precautionary measure after a customer reportedly found glass shards in one of their jars. An investigation into the incidents scope led the company to conclude that it had been an isolated occurrence and that the rest of the batch had not been affected.28

In August 2018, Consumer Reports released an article entitled Heavy Metals in Baby Food: What You Need to Know. The article details how Consumer Reports testing found concerning levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead in many popular baby and toddler foods. Consumption of lead during infancyespecially since a higher percentage of toxins are absorbed at such an agedecreases cognitive development and can result in lower IQ, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other behavioral problems.29

According to Zion Market Research, the market size for baby food in the United States is estimated to be $53 billion in 2018 and growing to $76 billion by 2021.30

Commercial baby food in the United States is dominated byGerber, which had about 70% of the Americanmarket sharein 1996.12Beechnut had about 15% of the market, and Heinz had about 10%. Heinzs Earths Best, the largest brand of organic baby food, had about 2% of the American market share.12

InAustralia, Canada, and New Zealand,Heinzhad about 90% of the market share in 1996.12Heinz is also the market leader in the UK, Italy, and several eastern European countries.12

International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes

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Infant respiratory distress syndrome

(American crib and cradle, British cot)

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