Not all sugra-free baby foods are without sugar (Picture: Getty)Parents should monitor the amount of sugar in the baby food they give their children and opt for ones with more vegetables, says a new report from child health experts.
Despite labels that say ‘no sugar’ on baby foods, there may be some elements of natural sugars such as honey and fruit juices.
So the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is warning mums and dads to be more careful with what they feed kids, in order to avoid giving them a sweet tooth.
Children should also be introduced to bitter foods, the report encouraged.
It’s hoped that this will protect against tooth decay, poor diet and obesity.
Parents are advised to introduce children to bitter tasting food too (Picture: Getty)The key recommendations of the RCPCH report were that the Government should develop mandatory guidelines on sugar content for kids under the age of two.
‘The government should encourage reformulation of baby food, including commercial weaning foods, supporting greater exposure of babies to a wider range of tastes, rather than predominantly sweet flavours,’ it said.
Researchers advised parents to give infants sugar in a natural form, such as whole fresh fruit, milk or unsweetened dairy products.
Professor Mary Fewtrell, nutrition lead for the RCPCH, warned of the dangers of packaged baby foods.
‘Pureed or liquid baby foods packaged in pouches also often have a high energy density and a high proportion of sugar,’ she said.
‘If sucked from the pouch, the baby also misses out on the opportunity to learn about eating from a spoon or feeding himself.
‘Baby foods can be labelled “no added sugar” if the sugar comes from fruit – but all sugars have the same effects on the teeth and on metabolism.’
She added that babies may have a preference for sweet stuff but they can be conditioned to love other flavours if they’re exposed to them.
You can read the rest of the recommendations made by the organisation in the report.
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