Homemade Baby Food - Avoid The Hidden Nasties
What's hidden in your toddler snacks?
Store bought brands of food, snacks and drinks for babies and toddlers are convenient and should be healthy right? But what do you really know about the ingredients that go into these popular brands?
A recent study carried out by Cancer Council Victoria into 250 popular off-the-shelf baby and toddler foods checked the levels of added sugar and sweetness, sodium (salt), fat, protein and energy levels against WHO recommendations.
The findings were shocking!
- Overall, only 5% of snacks met all 7 WHO recommendations, with sodium and sugar being the most problematic ingredients.
- Only 13% of snacks for babies and 12% of snacks for toddlers met all 3 WHO recommendations for sugar and sweetness.
- Only half of the snacks marketed to children under 3 met sodium recommendations, with baby snacks performing much better than toddler snacks (70% of baby snacks compared to 37% of toddler snacks).
In addition, Dr Sandro Demaio, the chief Executive Officer for VicHealth, said “It’s irresponsible and deceptive for the processed food industry to load up these products with added sugar and then market them specially for toddlers.”
And added sugar comes in many guises. It’s important to note that added sugars can include processed fruit sugars, like fruit pastes, juices and concentrates, which are often passed off as healthy foods for young Australians.
Experts agree that clear and transparent labelling is needed for baby and toddler foods so that parents can make more informed choices about what to feed their little ones.
Food Labelling & Advertising For Babies & Toddlers
While there are stringent measures in place for clear adult foods and snack labelling, no such measures are in place for the foods that babies and toddlers consume. So our most vulnerable members of our population here in Australia are, so far, not protected from unscrupulous companies that are promoting convenience baby and toddler foods with little, or no nutritional value.
The organisation ‘Obesity Policy Coalition’ is calling for urgent action to protect Australian children’s health. Their Executive Manager, Jane Martin, says these findings clearly reflect that while some progress is being made for setting limits on sodium quantities in foods for babies, no regulations exist for toddlers. Also of concern is that there are no regulations for how much sugar can be in foods for either babies or toddlers.
Studies show that eating too much processed food at a young age has links to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay in later life. Plus if your child develops a taste for sweetened foods early in their development, it makes it much more difficult to develop a healthy eating habit later on.
In addition, Cancer Council Victoria has launched a campaign to try and stop the processed food industry influencing your kids with unhealthy food and drink advertising. How often have you, as a tired parent, faced a barrage of brightly coloured snacks and drinks at the check-out that your toddler wants and you keep having to say no?
The “FoodFight!” campaign aims to join a community of families, experts and organisations to stop the processed food industry advertising unhealthy food and drinks where Victorian kids commute, learn and play.
So what can you do about feeding your little ones only the best, nutritious foods and snacks for the best start in life? Well, Cherub Baby is here to help.
Homemade Is Best
While some people may still think that making homemade baby food is a laborious task, the team here at Cherub Baby have come up with some innovative solutions for making homemade baby food quick and easy.
The Cherub Baby unique homemade baby feeding system includes a quick and easy to use baby food maker, reusable food pouches and other innovative accessories and eco-friendly products, so you can make healthy alternatives to store bought baby food and toddler snacks.
Plus the added benefits of making your own homemade food for babies and toddlers are endless. By making your own purees and snacks, you have complete control over what you are feeding your baby. This includes cutting out the nasties like hidden added sugar and salt or any preservatives. Plus you know that you’re giving your little one all the nutritional benefits of fresh foods.
In addition, you can also reduce the amount of packaging and waste in your home – all you need in order to make purees and snacks are some fresh fruits and vegetables, and a little time. It’s much cheaper, too. The cost of store bought baby and toddler food is up to three times more than the cost of making it yourself!
So what are you waiting for? Don’t put it off, start making your own homemade baby food and toddler snacks to give your little one the best start in life today.