On TikTok, Katie Harley shares videos of her daughter, Eliza, documenting what type of food her baby enjoys eating. In one clip shared last month, Eliza could be seen sitting in her chair and eating a piece of steak.
In the text over the video, Harley noted that people online accused her that she was giving her baby “steak for TikTok”.
“People loooove giving parenting advice to people who didn’t ask,” she wrote in the caption.
As of 14 March, the video has more than 1.1m views, with many TikTok users in the comments claiming that this steak looked too “bloody” for Eliza to be eating.
“The blood is dripping,” one wrote, while another viewer said: “Looks a bit raw.”
Many other viewers disagreed, noting that while the steak looks pink, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s underdone.
“There is NO blood in your store bought meat, raw or not. Relax,” a TikTok user wrote.
Some TikTok users also detailed what kind of food they feed their babies, despite the fact that it isn’t meat.
“Finally another mom does this !!! My baby was underweight at 4 months old and refused baby food and her doctor told me to try regular food,” one wrote.
“My kids are vegan so it’s a no for me but you know everyone talking smack are feeding their kids hot dogs and bear paws all day,” another comment reads.
Harley discussed her child’s eating habits during a recent interview with Fox News Digital, noting that Eliza was encouraged to eat steak by her paediatrician, for the sake of her overall growth. Her paediatrician made the food recommendation after he learned that Harley wanted to feed her daughter “real food”, instead of baby food.
“At our appointment, we went over what foods we’re going to start introducing,” Harley said. “He wanted us to introduce things like peanut butter because it’s an allergen, he wanted us to do steak because it’s very nutrient-rich and lean, and we also introduced her to a bunch of fruits and veggies. There was a whole list.”
Harley also said that the paediatrician recommended cooking the steak until its internal temperature is 145 degrees fahrenheit before serving it to Eliza. According to theUnited States Department of Agriculture, the “recommended safe cooking temperature” for beef is 145 degrees.
Regarding some of the harsh comments she’s received on her TikTok videos, Harley said that she tries her best to avoid responding to them.
“Even if you’ve made mistakes, you can learn from them,” she explained. “You don’t have to feel down about negative comments even if you ended up being wrong. There are a lot of people on TikTok who have been wrong and have changed their behaviour and then moved on from it.”
However, she said that one positive result of her account is that it has helped spark a conversation about how and what mothers feed their babies.
“Feeding your child is such a personal thing,” she added. “It’s a lot of what you want to do. Some people won’t give their babies solid food until they’re a year [old], some people take a baby food course or exclusively breastfeed. There are so many different options on how to feed your children.”
According to the USDA, “solid foods must be served to infants around 6 months of age, as it is developmentally appropriate for the infant.” But, an introduction to solid foods can still happen “gradually,” as new foods could be introduced “one at a time.”
“For example, an infant may eat a cracker one week and not the next week,” the site says. “In addition, solid foods served to infants must be of a texture and consistency that is appropriate for the age and development of the infant being fed.”
The Independent has reached out to Harley for comment.