Many Mothers Don’t Remember Well-Child Nutrition Advice

Recent findings from a study examining mothers’ recall of doctors’ advice on early-child nutrition suggest that key feeding messages may not be heard, remembered, or even delivered.

During a typical child wellness visit, pediatricians provide parents with anticipatory guidance on all aspects of child development and safety, up to the age of 5 years.

The analysis of data from a subset of 1,302 mothers participating in the 2017-2019 National Survey of Family Growth showed that those older than 31 years of age and those who identified as non-Hispanic White were more likely to recall discussion of certain child nutrition topics compared with younger mothers or those who identified as Hispanic.

When it came to the best time to introduce solid foods, 37% didn’t recall being told to wait at least 4 months and preferably, 6 months. In fact, these mothers reported being advised to introduce solid foods before 6 months, said Andrea McGowan, MPH, of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues.

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

“All in all, this research draws attention to certain nutrition guidance topics or subpopulations that might be prioritized to improve receipt and recall of guidance,” said McGowan, now a first-year medical student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in a podcast. “This research…implores us to consider ways to