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Baby food picks may affect health later

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., July 16 (UPI) -- Healthy dietary choices during infancy may promote lifelong healthy eating, U.S. researchers suggest.

Lead researcher Jennifer Savage of Pennsylvania State University's Center for Childhood Obesity Research says the study finds teaching first-time parents to feed their babies "responsively" promoted higher acceptance of vegetables and novel foods by the infants. The children exhibited more healthful eating and improved growth patterns.

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"These results provide the first evidence that teaching parents how, what, and when to feed their infants can promote healthful eating habits," Savage says in a statement.

The intervention program focused on nurses going to the homes of first-time parents and teaching how to respond sensitively and appropriately to infant hunger and fullness cues, to allow infants and toddlers a role in deciding how much to eat, while also providing information on how, what, and when to introduce solids to promote acceptance of new foods.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior in Pittsburgh.

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