Need information on why its ok to exclusively breastfeed for a year
Generally if you are exclusively breastfeeding until a year, it's because the baby is refusing other foods. In my experience, many babies are not ready to eat a lot of solid food at 6 months, and I've known plenty of people who say their babies didn't really eat solids until a year. However I think not introducing solids at all for a year is a different scenario. If you introduce solids, and there is no interest, the baby would have to get nutrition through breastfeeding, which is what happens for a number of mothers. If, for some reason, that just isn't happening, the baby isn't gaining or has a nutritional deficiency, then there would have to be another way to get more nutrients into the baby.
Now sometimes there are medical things going on, so then the issue is that the not eating solids at all could be indicative of something else. I've heard of babies with serious allergic reactions to foods who don't eat solids for a long time.
http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detexclusive.html She talks briefly about what extended breastfeeding is, but this is from 1995.
My daughter refused ANY and ALL baby food or anything that was a texture similar (mashed potatos, yogurt, etc) and she still won't eat mashed food at 16 months so I think it was truly a texture thing. My dad is that way too about mashed food-- makes him nearly vomit. And she HATED fruit of any kind.
SO...up until around 10/11 months all she did was breastfeed which she still does quite a lot of at 16 months along with eating regular food.
I didn't have much of a choice until she could gum down some softer foods...and french fries became a staple unfortunately-- it was all she would eat!
Finally somewhere around a year she began progressing and now eats lots of fruits, some veggies, anything carbs, not a huge french fry fan anymore...and she is fine and perfectly healthy.
I wouldn't suggest someone avoid food before a year but if that baby is anything like me, options were limited and scarce.
My daughter always gained but was and is very tiny...but meets all milestones so I am not worried and neither should your friend be.
"The introduction of semisolid and solid foods to an infant's diet has changed since 1920, when these foods were seldom offered before 12 months. "
In the book "The Care and Feeding of Children" by Dr.Luther Emmet Holt there is not much in the way of solids consumed before a year, and those were not begun until 8-9 months