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Something fishy about home-cooked infant feeding recipes

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Sharon Ann Carstairs, Debbi Marais, Leone Craig, Kirsty Kiezebrink

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There is no evidence available indicating whether popular infant and young child feeding (IYCF) cookbooks provide nutritious options for home-cooking, what the most common food types are within the recipes, and what accompanying dietary advice is provided to parents. This study surveyed available IYCF cookbooks from local libraries and Amazon UK’s top 20 bestsellers (May-July 2013) to examine the prevalence and nutritional content of cookbook recipes comparing these to recommendations whilst investigating the messages portrayed towards parents on giving different foods to their child during IYCF. Vegetable-based recipes (median=29) predominated main-meal options whilst a proportional number of red meat (12), poultry (10) and seafood-based (13) recipes were included providing parents with options of protein-rich recipes for their young child. These home-cooked recipes adequately met or exceeded age-specific dietary recommendations. Mixed messages were apparent on the inclusion of foods during IYCF within and across these cookbooks, in particular for seafood, highlighting a lack of consistent advice portrayed to parents during the early years. Community-based health professionals should advise parents of the inconsistent and incorrect messages on food inclusion portrayed in some IYCF cookbooks and guide them towards formal recommendations.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Practitioner
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

    Research areas

  • Infant feeding, Home-cooked, Early years, Child feeding, Seafood

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ID: 245113117