chapter  2
The management of infant feeding problems
Pages 51

I n t r o d u c t i o n One of the major concerns of parents, from the time of their infant's birth onwards, is how to provide adequate nutrition and feed the child correctly. Those who have not previously experienced child-rearing often feel the need for professional guidance. This need for information is reflected in the fact that articles on feeding frequently form a major proportion of the content of popular magazines on parenting (Young, 1990). Furthermore, there are numerous books on 'good parenting'. Views on how best to feed infants changed dramatically during the last century (Truby-King, 1913; Spock, 1968; Leach, 1986). Unfortunately, most of the advice given to parents and professionals was, until recently, based more on beliefs and fashions than on empirical evidence (Young, 1990). In the past few years a re-awakening of interest in the feeding and nutrition of infants has provided a better understanding of feeding practices and nutritional requirements to promote normal growth and development (DHSS, 1988; McDade and Worthman, 1998; Wolke, 1994). Nevertheless, many gaps in knowledge remain and, in particular, there has been little empirical evaluation of the best way of managing feeding and eating problems (Bax, 1989; Ottenbacher et al., 1983).