What are we feeding our infants and toddlers?

An article published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (J Am Diet Assoc 2004 Jan; 104 (1 Pt 2): 22-30) reports the findings of a survey on food intake of American infants and toddlers.

The conclusions are truly shocking and confirm what many newspaper articles have been reporting in recent times: that an increasing number of parents are letting the packaged food industry decide what their children eat.

Some parents would say that there’s nothing they can do about it, because their children love sugary foods and refuse green vegetable. However, when we talk about infants and toddlers, the reality is that they will eat what they’re exposed to. Sugar is a non-food that is highly addictive and should be carefully avoided at this age if we want to raise healthy children.

The survey found that fruits and vegetables were rarely consumed in this age group and that, when a vegetable was consumed, it was most often French fries. Even more disturbing is the finding that by the age of seven months nearly half consume some type of sweetened dessert and by 19 to 24 months nearly two-thirds consume baked desserts.

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