During weaning the child exercises self-control and relationships – WWN

During weaning the child exercises self-control and relationships – WWN


Of Maria Lai

The weaning period is not only important from a nutritional education point of view but also impacts the formation of self-control and the parent-child relationship

Weaned children independently from an early age have mothers who are more reactive to satiety signals. A factor that has long-term implications, including healthier socio-emotional development and a more balanced relationship with nutrition. the result of an Italian research, financed by the Ministry of Education as part of the research projects of significant national interest which investigated the relationship between the approach to complementary feeding and the responsiveness of mothers in Italian children at 8 and 12 months. By recording meals in the home environment, the study observed a sample of over 350 mother-child pairs during a crucial period in childhood development, capable of influencing eating habits and body weight into adulthood. The conclusions broaden and strengthen the scientific literature on alternative methods to weaning guided by parents, confirming its positive aspects. In essence, better parent-child relationships and greater responsiveness on the part of adults are related to healthier weight conditions. Based on these assumptions, the researchers argue that it would be appropriate to introduce solid foods by actively involving the child in home meals and allowing him to taste the foods consumed by the rest of the family early on.

Appetite and emotions, when you learn to manage them

It had already been demonstrated in the past that self-regulation of appetite is linked to self-control in areas other than food. This competence develops critically during childhood and is strongly influenced by the quality of the interaction with the parent: the very style of attachment and the lasting nature of the relationship are crucialas they provide a secure foundation to rely on when needed.

The characteristics of “Baby Led Weaning”

Baby-led weaning has become very popular in recent years. Based on this method, the child is free to choose between the foods offered and to eat in the way he prefers, for example using a teaspoon or bringing food to your mouth with your hands. Parents are responsible for providing as many suitable options as possible and an environment conducive to food exploration. The goal is to facilitate a positive relationship with food and allow the development of skills and preferences.

WHO guidelines

L’World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. After this period, she recommends gradually introducing complementary foods into the diet that are safe and suitable for nutritional needs, while maintaining breastfeeding for up to 2 years or more. He also underlines the importance of reactive feeding understood as the practice of recognizing and respecting the child’s hunger and satiety signals, pushing him to eat independently. The lack of attention to the signs provided by children can in fact result in them having a lower ability to follow their physiological needs and is often associated with the risk of wasting or being overweight. Here is some advice for parents: dedify yourself at meal time slowly and patiently, minimize distractions, in case of refusal, offer different combinations, flavors and consistencies. But above all, take advantage of this opportunity to create bondsspeaking and maintaining eye contact.

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February 12, 2024 (modified February 12, 2024 | 08:03)



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