General practitioners (GPs) are often the first point of advice about nutrition and feeding concerns in infants and toddlers.
The aim of this article is to discuss the
assessment of breastfed infants and address commonly presenting issues
such as regurgitation, vomiting and bowel habits. Recommendations for
starting solids and management of fussy eating are also outlined in this
Breastfeeding should be supported by all
healthcare professionals. Intake is difficult to quantify, but can be
assessed using growth and urine output, with support from lactation
consultants and/or child and family health nurses. Regurgitation is
common, and usually resolves itself. If there are clinical concerns
about a child’s vomiting, they should be investigated medically.
Consti-pation can be caused by insufficient fluid intake and should be
managed medically; dietary interventions are not recommended as
first-line treatment. Solid foods should be introduced around six months
of age, when the infant is developmentally ready. Delaying the
introduction of solids or allergenic foods does not prevent allergies.
Fussy eating is common in toddlers exerting their independence, and
behavioural management is essential.