[Infant food diversification. Assessment of practices in relation to French recommendations in pediatricians and pediatric residents in southern France].
Sommaire de l'article
Infant food diversification has undergone a rapid succession of good practice recommendations in France, but there has been no assessment of pediatrician practices on food diversification.
To assess the practices of pediatricians in relation to current recommendations of the French Society of Pediatrics on infant food diversification.
This was an observational study conducted from 1 November 2014 to 31 March 2015. The study population consisted of 97 pediatricians in the Var department and 84 pediatric residents assigned to the University of Aix-Marseille in France. A questionnaire was sent by email or post to determine physician characteristics, food diversification methods in healthy children and those at atopic risk, and how the pediatric consultation was conducted. The expected answers were based on the most recent recommendations of the French Society of Pediatrics published in 2008, updated from 2003. In summary, breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months. Food diversification can be started between 4 and 6 months in children with no allergy risk. Gluten, honey, legumes and cow's milk are introduced between 4 and 7 months, after 12 months and after 36 months, respectively. In atopic children, food diversification is delayed until after 6 months and the most allergenic foods (nuts, exotic fruits, peanuts, and shellfish) are introduced after the age of 12 months.
Eighty-four responses were obtained (51%): 50 pediatricians and 34 pediatric residents. Sixteen items were classified depending on whether or not an update after 2003 existed. Over 80% of the physicians responded as recommended for the recently updated items for the age of introduction of "solid food in healthy children", "gluten", "cow's milk protein hydrolysates", and "the time until introduction of cow's milk in the atopic child". At best, 65% of physicians responded in accordance with recommendations for items without a recent update, age of introduction of "cow's milk", "milk desserts", "animal proteins", "fats", "vegetables", "use of a hypoallergenic infant formula", and "breastfeeding extension with atopic child". Pediatric residents had the same responses as pediatricians. Seventy-two physicians did not consider the allergenic status of the children to delay the introduction of the most allergenic foods. The lack of complete updating the introduction of solid foods schedule could explain the differences between pediatrician practices and recommendations. Moreover, old recommendations on allergenic food eviction are still available.
Pediatricians and pediatric residents partially applied the current recommendations on the introduction of solid food.