Informing Infant Nutrition: Timing of Infant Formula Advice, Infant Formula Choice and Preparation in the First 6 Months of Life.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2022, 54, (10), pp. 908-915
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OBJECTIVE: To examine the sources and timing of advice formula feeding parents receive and how this and other factors influence the choice of formula product and formula preparation. DESIGN: Components of a cross-sectional survey. SETTING: A child and family health service in New South Wales, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Parents (n = 153) who were fully or partially formula feeding infants aged 0-6 months and who visited the service's facilities or its social media site. VARIABLES MEASURED: Type of formula, preparation of formula, and use and sources of formula feeding advice. ANALYSIS: Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U or Pearson's chi-square tests, and inductive content analysis. RESULTS: The most common source of formula feeding advice was the formula tin/packet (96.6%). Although 79.2% received advice from a health professional, only 18.9% reported receiving this advice before using formula. Approximately half (48.0%) of the parents chose a standard cow's milk-based formula. The most common reason for their choice of formula type/brand was a personal recommendation (53.0%). Parents' responses indicated that nearly half (46.3%) incorrectly prepared the formula. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Although health professional advice was widely received, this was rarely before starting formula. Despite the current national infant feeding regulations, parents who were not exclusively breastfeeding their infants did not always receive timely, health professional advice about formula feeding.
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