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Banana aid to infant health

Monday January 4th, 2010

Bananas are to play a key role in helping mothers give babies a healthy diet in a new UK campaign.

The fruit can be used to test whether a baby is ready for weaning, according to the Start4Life campaign launched this month.

A baby should be able to sit up and grab a piece of peeled banana and eat it before starting on solid food, according to Start4Life

The government-backed campaign offers mothers six "building blocks" to ensure their children grow up eating healthily.

These are:
* breast-feeding;
* length of breast-feeding and why every day counts;
* "no rush to mush" using the banana test;
* giving babies a variety of food;
* how to avoid giving a child a sweet tooth;
* activity - encouraging infants to be lively and active.

The campaign is part of the government's Change4Life campaign, aimed at combating growing rates of childhood obesity.

At present rates one in five new babies will grow up to be obese.

Public health minister Gillian Merron said: "What happens in the first years of a baby's life has a big effect on how healthy they are in the future.

"Despite recent encouraging statistics which show that childhood obesity may be levelling off, obesity levels are still too high and it is important we keep the momentum going."

Tags: Child Health | Diet & Food | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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