Nav: Home

Researchers compare nutritional value of infant and toddler foods

December 02, 2019

AURORA, Colo. (Dec. 2, 2019) - Infant and toddler foods sold in pouches have lower nutritional value than foods sold in jars and other packaging, according to a new study led by researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The findings of the study are published in the current issue of the journal Nutrition Today.

"The high level of sugars in some pouches is potentially concerning because pouches are coming to dominate the market for infant and toddler foods," said Kameron Moding, PhD, assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. "While pouch products are popular and convenient, the nutritional profiles differ from products sold in other packages, particularly with respect to sugars coming from fruits."

Moding conducted the research for this study as a postdoctoral fellow at CU, working with Susan Johnson, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the CU School of Medicine, who is senior author of the article.

The researchers evaluated the contents of 548 products. Of those, products in pouches totaled 274, nearly twice as many as sold in jars or other packaging, such as trays, that were made by companies based in the United States. These products were reviewed for their ingredients and evaluated for their nutritional content and the age of children targeted to consume the product.

One of the key findings was that pouches more commonly had blends of fruits and vegetables than other packaging types. Pouches also were less likely to contain single vegetable products. Previous studies have indicated that incorporating dark green vegetables into the diets of infants and toddlers is limited perhaps because of a lack of commercially prepared single-vegetable products.

"Since early experiences with flavors and textures of foods may provide the foundation for later food acceptance, it is important to expose infants to a wide variety of flavors, textures, and nutrient-dense foods" said Moding.

According to national estimates, between one-third and one-half of infants in the United States consume at least some commercially prepared infant and toddler foods, with infants between six months and eight months of age being most likely to consume these products.

"We need to conduct more studies to understand whether the sugar contents of these pouch products reinforce infants' innate preference for sweetness and influence the trajectory of the transition to family foods," said Moding. "We do know that infant and toddler foods that contain fruit purees and juice concentrates may create 'health halos' that lead caregivers to believe such blends are more healthful than they truly are, especially when they are high in sugars, but low in fiber."
-end-
In addition to Moding and Johnson, authors of the article include Mackenzie J. Ferrante, MS, RDN, and Laura L. Bellows, PhD, MPH, from Colorado State University, and Alyssa J. Bakke, PhD, and John E. Hayes, PhD, from Pennsylvania State University.

About the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system.

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Related Infants Articles:

Probiotic may help treat colic in infants
Probiotics -- or 'good bacteria' -- have been used to treat infant colic with varying success.
Deaf infants' gaze behavior more advanced than that of hearing infants
Deaf infants who have been exposed to American Sign Language are better at following an adult's gaze than their hearing peers, supporting the idea that social-cognitive development is sensitive to different kinds of life experiences.
Initiating breastfeeding in vulnerable infants
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are well-recognized, including for late preterm infants (LPI).
Young infants with fever may be more likely to develop infections
Infants with a high fever may be at increased risk for infections, according to research from Penn State College of Medicine.
Early term infants less likely to breastfeed
A new, prospective study provides evidence that 'early term' infants (those born at 37-38 weeks) are less likely than full-term infants to be breastfeed within the first hour and at one month after birth.
Infants are more likely to learn when with a peer
Researchers at the University of Connecticut and University of Washington looked at the mechanisms involved in language learning among nine-month-olds, the youngest population known to be studied in relation to on-screen learning.
Allergic reactions to foods are milder in infants
Majority of infants with food-induced anaphylaxis present with hives and vomiting, suggesting there is less concern for life-threatening response to early food introduction.
Non-dairy drinks can be dangerous for infants
A brief report published in Acta Paediatrica points to the dangers of replacing breast milk or infant formula with a non-dairy drink before one year of age.
Infants can't talk, but they know how to reason
A new study reveals that preverbal infants are able to make rational deductions, showing surprise when an outcome does not occur as expected.
Infants are able to learn abstract rules visually
Three-month-old babies cannot sit up or roll over, yet they are already capable of learning patterns from simply looking at the world around them, according to a recent Northwestern University study published in PLOS One.
More Infants News and Infants Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab