Tuesday, January 18, 2011

BBC reports flawed breastfeeding report as Holy Writ alongside new Vitamin D guidance

The BBC is reporting that the Scottish Government has issued some new advice to pregnant mothers, that they should take Vitamin D supplements. Much as I'm not keen on synthetic vitamins, I can't really argue with this one. We used to spend so much time outside in sunlight, but with modern busy lives, children often spend their early years being driven to nursery, spending all day there and then going straight home. There's not so much of the spending all day outside in the pram, either in the garden, or going for long walks, soaking up the sun's rays, and when we do, we sensibly slap on the sunscreen. Even La Leche League has conceded on the Vitamin D issue so I reckon this is a sensible move.

The thing that's made me absolutely mad is not what the Scottish Government has said, but the way the BBC has reported that there is no change to the age at which children are recommended to be weaned:
The policy was drawn up before evidence that babies should be given solid food before the age of six months was published in last week's British Medical Journal.
The BBC are treating a report by 4 people, 3 of whom have connections with the baby food industry, as Holy Writ even though it is not based on a shred of new evidence, just them putting their spin on older research. I wrote about this in more detail last week. Honestly, journalists are all over politicians at the slightest sniff of a conflict of interest, yet they print this sort of stuff unchallenged. I am not impressed.

Moving on, the new Scottish guidance suggests that the introduction of lumpy foods too late can cause a baby to be fussy eaters and can exhibit strong dislikes even at 7 years old. There's a bit of chicken and egg about this, I think. Anna would have nothing to do with lumpy foods, despite being offered them on a daily basis from before 6 months, until she was a fair bit over a year. And she is quite a fussy eater. Looks like an open and shut case, but is it?

I have always resolved never to make food a battleground. I will take no guilt on this, as I believe it's my job as her mother to offer her healthy, nutritious food several times a day, and it is her job to eat it. If she doesn't want to, I'm not going to force her. Yes, she has strong food preferences, but as she grows older, the range of things she'll eat is getting bigger. This is a child who wouldn't touch an apple or a banana if her life depended on it, but who will  happily down grapefruit, brocoli and mushrooms. My point is that the refusal of lumps may have been an indication that she was already a fussy eater. Her diet has caused me stress over the years, but she's healthy and a perfect weight for her height and age so we're doing something right somewhere..

My health visitor, who was lovely, and often right, told me when I mentioned the lumpy food issue that I'd have to sort that or she might have speech problems. At that point, at the age of around a year, Anna had a vocabulary of over 100 words, so I took that particular bit of advice with a pinch of salt.

I tried so many things to try to get her to eat lumps and finger food in those days, but she was seriously having none of it, but, like everything else, it all sorted itself out in the end. I find the fact that it's been confirmed that there is a relationship between lump refusal and fussy eating interesting, but not really surprising and I'm not really sure what parents in the same position as I was are supposed to do.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails