Amy Brown, professor of public health at Swansea University, says children should be encouraged to feed themselves independently when they are ready for solids.
The researcher says babies should not be spoon fed after six months.
Her book, Why Starting Solids Matters, includes a study of 300 babies which found those who are spoon fed were twice as likely to be overweight by the time they were toddlers.
Babies who were allowed to select finger foods were ‘significantly more’ able to stop when full.
Professor Brown said: “When you are waving the spoon around and saying ‘here comes the big aeroplane - let’s finish it’ if they clamp their mouth shut, forget about it. They will not starve.”