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Tuesday, 17 September 2013
UK (and presumably Irish) commercial baby foods don’t meet infants’ dietary weaning needs because they are mostly sweet foods that provide little extra nutritional goodness over breast milk, according to recent research.
The weaning process aims to introduce infants to a wider range of textures, tastes, and flavors in order to encourage them to accept different foods and boost their energy and nutrient intake. The UK government recommends that the weaning should not start before six months.
Researchers analyzed the nutritional content of all infant foods intended for weaning and produced by four major UK manufacturers and two specialist suppliers. They found that 79 percent of the 462 stand-alone products assessed were ready made spoonable foods, 44% (201) were aimed at infants from 4 months, and 65% of these were sweet foods. Similar spoonable family foods were more nutrient dense than commercial foods with the exception of iron content. Commercial finger foods were more energy dense, but had very high sugar content.
SOURCE: BMJ, September 2013