FORT WORTH, Tex. – A new study suggests that U.S. babies are eating less than 1/3 of the food they’re being fed. The study, sponsored by Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development, found that only 30% of baby food is actually entering babies’ mouths, despite parents’ careful feeding efforts. The vast majority of the food, the study suggests, is thrown, spilled, smeared, spit up, or otherwise lost for good.
David Harris, the study’s author, expressed surprise and concern at the findings. “I’m concerned at these findings,” he stated. “Many parents will open a jar of baby food, and one spoonful at a time, empty the contents. They’ll mistakenly believe that their baby has eaten the food, when it reality, most of that has been spit up or thrown across the room at the refrigerator. According to our study, babies aren’t actually eating – they’re just smearing pureed vegetables across their faces, or hiding it in their diapers. We’re very concerned that many babies are actually malnourished.”
In response to the study, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidelines for feeding, which include feeding children when they are asleep in order to maximize caloric intake.