Meat-Based Diet Can Lead To Growth In Infants, New Study Suggests

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There have been many debates over the years pertaining to what to give a baby while they’re in their developmental stage. While formula and baby foods are mandatory for the health and nutrition of a baby, a new study suggests that adding meat to an infant’s diet can also be beneficial for them.

Give Them Meat

In a new research that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, infants that are formula-fed can also consume meat as it can be an important source of protein for the child.

Meats, such as pork, can provide micronutrients for the infant and can also be an important complementary food for infants that are ready to eat solid foods. The lead author of the study, Minghua Tang, who is the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at University of Colorado Denver-Anschutz, stated that infants at the age of five months could start eating meat and dairy-based foods in pureed form.

“Our research suggests introducing higher amounts of protein and introducing meat, such as pork, into the diet at five months could be potentially beneficial for linear growth (length gain),” Tang stated.

Most infants are ready to eat solid foods between the ages of four months and six months, which is also that time that some women stop breast-feeding their children. This is also the time frame when infants stop using their tongues to push food out of their mouths and begin to start moving their food from the front to the back of their mouths and learning to swallow.

The Study 

A small group of healthy babies who were also consuming formula were given meat-based complementary food, such as pureed beef and ham. They were also given certain dairy-based foods from the age of five to twelve months. Prior tho this experiment, each infant’s protein intake was two grams per kg each day however during the experiment, this increased to three grams per kg.

Even though the protein intake increased, the fat and calories in the meat and dairy groups stayed the same despite the increase in protein.

Researchers saw a growth among the infants during the seven month study period. The infants who consumed meat grew nearly one inch, with no risk of becoming overweight.

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