1. Roberts, Ann Ante-natal Teacher

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I have just read Dr. Karen Morin's Infant Nutrition column in MCN, 30 [1], (January 2005) where she expressed astonishment at meeting a mother who prepares her 7-month-old daughter's food at home. I was completely flabbergasted at her surprise!! In this country I'm sure the majority of us prepare our baby's food. Certainly in 15 years of antenatal teaching I know no one who would use prepared food for anything other than occasional convenience.


Dr. Morin asked: "How often do mothers prepare baby food at home?" Answer in the UK: "Most of the time." She also asks: 'What kind of information do they need in order to prepare food safely?" My answer is: "Just normal sensible home hygiene." Concerns around the rising level of autoimmune illnesses-asthma and eczema and allergies to name but three-have led some people to postulate that babies and children do not come into contact with enough germs these days for their immune systems to learn to deal.


Now that babies are not being weaned until 6 months, it is quite safe and simple to just feed them suitable portions of the family meal, mashed with a fork, in an ordinary bowl-or give finger foods. There are loads of books on the market in the United Kingdom with ideas of suitable foods and recipes if the family is not eating something suitable at any particular meal time. Is it really so different in the USA?


Ann Roberts Ante-natal Teacher


United Kingdom