New research reveals startling facts about what babies are eating during their most formative years. The study, which analyzed 11 years of food and beverage consumption data among babies 0-24 months in the U.S., shows that on any given day only 40 percent of babies are eating vegetables, and most get only about one-third the recommended amount of whole grains.
Furthermore, the analysis, taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), shows that as infants transition from baby food to whole food at around nine months, there is a significant increase in sweets, salty snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages. By 12 months, infants and toddlers are consuming more than five teaspoons of added sugar and more than 1500 milligrams of sodium a day (which is the recommended limit for adults).
Nicole Silber, RD, is a Pediatric Dietitian who aims to provide parents with resources and tips when it comes to healthy, clean eating for kids.
One very key element is to make things exciting. Add spices and incorporate foods with vibrant colors. Eating is a very sensory experience. Have babies close to the kitchen when you're cooking so they can take in the aroma.
Breastfeeding is also a great way to expand your baby's palate from a very young age. Breast milk contains more flavor and variety than formula, which might result in a child who is more open to diverse foods and flavors.
Juice and fruit can create an affinity to sweets. Instead, create smoothies with vegetables, chia seeds, coconut oil, and only half a cup of fruit maximum.
Silber joins host Lisa Davis to discuss the recent studies on early nutrition, as well as share tips on how you can incorporate healthy, nutritious food into your baby's diet.