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Baby Food Lacks Vital Nutrients

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Research published in Archives of Disease in Childhood reveals that commercially available baby food designed for weaning offer no more nutrients than breast milk. It is commonly advised to begin the weaning process when you baby reaches six months, yet many of these products designed to assist with the transition from milk to solids are advertised as suitable from four month’s old. The article points out that breast or formula milk is filled with the only nutrients a child will need before reaching six months and therefore additional foods will not be beneficial.

The article goes on to explain that further vitamins are required when a child is approximately six months old. Weaning is also essential to introduce babies to a wide range of tastes and textures and to increase their mastication skills, which in turn helps with digestion and eventually speech.

Mother feeding her baby with baby food

Which nutrients are in baby food jars?

The study highlights nutrients provided by weaning ready-meals, dried meals that require added milk or water, finger foods and breakfast cereals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 65% of the foods available were sweet and previous studies have revealed that babies prefer sweeter tastes. Yet the authors of Archives in Disease in Childhood are keen to point out that the weaning stage is vital to the children’s future eating habits as constant exposure to one type of food can develop into an overall preference. Other findings reveal that the ready-meal varieties had less nutritional value overall, although the iron content was on par with other baby foods. Foods containing meat were only marginally higher in iron than their meat-free equivalents and although finger foods boasted the highest nutritional value overall, they were found to contain a disconcertingly high amount of sugar.

Although health professionals realise that commercially available foods may be preferable products for busy parents, they are keen to reassure parents that 50g of even the simplest of home-prepared fruits, vegetables and pulses can provide the same amount of nutritional content as a similar product available from supermarkets.

 

 

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About Denise Morgan

About Denise Morgan

Denise has five years' experience writing for various web-based companies. During this time she has also contributed to magazine articles and brochures. In addition to writing, Denise is a gigging singer/songwriter and is proud to have featured on the first series of BBC One's The Voice UK, having been selected by the great Sir Tom Jones. Denise is mother to the most talented and ridiculously intelligent two year old that has ever been and ever will be (until she creates another one that is). This kind of hyperbole is restricted only to her progeny and is not a reflection of her usual writing styles... Denise and her son live in Manchester along with their five cats - yes that's right, five.

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