Unhealthy Eating among Babies
In Perth, Western Australia, there is an epidemic of unhealthy eating among babies and young toddlers occurring. Even infants are being fed biscuits, ice cream and other unhealthy treats before they even reach age one. A research study conducted by Telethon Institute of Child Health Research, University of Western Australia and Curtin University and South Australia’s Flinders University had 587 Perth women record every thing their child ate for their first year of life.
These women were also interviewed every six weeks about eating habits. Results of this study are published in Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetic this month. The results showed that 91.6 percent of babies had cake or biscuits and nearly 80 percent of the babies ate hotdogs. Some of the mothers had given their babies fruit juice, ice cream, biscuits and other unhealthy fare as early as four weeks after they were born.
The researchers feel that guidelines need to be given for what food is appropriate and healthy for infants, but that it really falls on the parents to offer more healthy options for their young children. Co-Author of the study, Flinders University Associate Professor Jane Scott, feels that
“providing babies with a balanced, healthy diet has really become a lost art.”
Ms. Scott’s main concern is that these foods are not only unhealthy, but that they do not provide nutrition that growing babies need. Also, during the first months and years of life is when children are best able to learn to try new foods. If they are given sweet foods, and salty snacks they will grow up only wanting to try these foods.
The study was conducted in 2002 and 2003 and included women from all different economic backgrounds. Two-Thirds of the women interviewed had at least a complete high school education. One thing noted was that women with three or more children were more likely to have provided their children with treats such as hot dogs or ice cream.
How many of us have fed our babies junk food disguised as baby food?
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