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Funded by: MIUR - Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (PRIN 2017, grant number 2017WH8B84)

Partners: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Sapienza Università di Roma

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Description: The complementary feeding period, i.e., when infants are introduced to foods and liquids different from milk, has lifelong consequences for health and well-being. Recently, there has been a rise in alternative complementary feeding approaches based on the infant signalling an interest in food, setting the pace and intake of the meal, and often eating independently, as opposed to the traditional way of offering infants specially-prepared pureed foods on a spoon. Here, we hypothesize that the early experience of independently choosing, manipulating, and chewing food within a positive family context, which characterizes alternative complementary feeding approaches, leads to better cognitive, motor, language, and self-regulation outcomes by two years of age, compared to the traditional complementary feeding approach. To test the above hypothesis, we will conduct a multi-method cohort study on 150 children, who will be longitudinally assessed at 4, 8, 12, and 24 months of age. This research will provide an evidence-based approach to complementary feeding, and will significantly contribute to the dissemination of information concerning healthy food habits and sustainability in food choice, as well as to the empowerment of new parents and to the education of professionals. 

Unit of Cognitive Primatology - tutte le immagini del sito sono protette da copyright 
Unit of Cognitive Primatology: all images are copyrighted