Delaying the introduction of complementary food until 6 months does not affect appetite or mother's report of food acceptance of breast-fed infants from 6 to 12 months in a low income, Honduran population.J Nutr 1995; 125(11):2787-92JN
Low income, primiparous mothers who had exclusively breast-fed for 4 mo were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 1) continued exclusive breast-feeding to 6 mo (EBF), 2) introduction of complementary foods at 4 mo, with ad libitum nursing 4-6 mo (SF), and 3) introduction of complementary foods at 4 mo, with maintenance of base-line nursing frequency 4-6 mo (SF-M). After the intervention phase (4-6 mo; n= 141), home visits were conducted for a subsample at 9 (n = 60) and 12 (n = 123) mo. At each visit, an observer recorded infant food intake at the midday meal and interviewed the mother regarding usual feeding patterns and the infant's acceptance of 20 common food items. All but two infants (1.5%) were breast-fed to 9 mo and all but eight (6%) to 12 mo. There were no significant differences among groups in breast-feeding frequency, amount or number of foods consumed at the midday meal, percentage of food offered that was consumed, usual daily number of meals and snacks, number of food groups consumed, or overall food acceptance score. Frequency of consumption of foods from eight different food groups (dairy, meats, eggs, grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, tubers) was not significantly different among groups except that, at 9 mo only, the SF group (but not the SF-M group) consumed more vegetables than did the EBF group. These results indicate that delaying the introduction of complementary foods until 6 mo does not adversely affect appetite or food acceptance among breast-fed infants.