Commercial foods for early childhood – Australia and New Zealand

This paper summarises infant and toddler nutrition in Australia and New Zealand.

Commercial foods for early childhood – Australia and New Zealand

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This paper covers the makeup and availability of commercial food for infants and young children in Australia.

Findings include:

  • Commercial foods often use sweet flavours for ‘meals’. This creates issues for setting the palate and lifelong tastes.
  • Commercial infant foods may contribute a lot of sugar to the diet. They often use processed fruit products and sugar to sweeten goods.
  • Serving sizes are often far larger than recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Large servings promote overeating. It also increases the amount of sugar consumed.
  • Pouches are the main packaging for meals for children up to 8 months. This reduces babies' chances for optimal physical and cognitive development. It means they don't experience as many different textures.
  • Some baby food labels do not reflect the main ingredients. This may mislead caregivers about the foods they are choosing.
  • While some finger-food products contain added salt, overall salt was not a concern.
  • Yoghurt pouches marketed to children often contain added sugar. Some recipes have been changed to reduce sugar.
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