June 08, 2023
Gut feeling on kumara baby-food probed
A Waipapa Taumata Rau – Auckland University – study is looking at whether Māori superfood kūmara, could have measurable benefits for babies as a first-solids food choice.
Principal investigator Clare Wall, who heads the nutrition department, says there has been little research on when babies start eating solids, and what happens to the gut microbiome – the beneficial bacteria in the large bowel.
“So we thought, let’s have a look at the impact of kumara on the microbiome in babies diets in the first year of life, when they start being introduced to solids – and see whether it has an impact on their immune health. And we’re kind of also really interested in sleep and sleep development in that stage of life, in the second six months of the first year of life too,” Professor Wall says.
So far about 150 families with babies have agreed to take part – but the study wants to double that to be statistically representative of the population.