Baby food that is marked “no added sugar” can also sometimes contain honey or fruit juice. Child health experts are therefore suggesting parents to restrict the amount of sugar given to children and to get them to eat more vegetables.
As per the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in UK, parents should also offer bitter flavours in baby food, which, in turn, will prevent tooth decay and obesity.
India, as per a 2017 report, has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China and is a growing health concern, increasing risk of heart diseases, blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. Consumption of added sugar can lead to weight gain. It is also known to be one of the leading causes of tooth decay. So, researchers are recommending parents to prevent kids from developing a sweet tooth.
Mary Fewtrell, nutrition lead for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said products for weaning babies often contained a high proportion of fruit or sweet-tasting vegetables. Even when kids consume sugar, it should be in the natural form such as whole fresh fruits or unsweetened dairy products, the experts suggested. Pureed or liquid baby food have “a high energy density and a high proportion of sugar,” warned Fewtrell.
“Babies are very willing to try different flavours, if they’re given the chance and it’s important that they’re introduced to a variety of flavours, including more bitter tasting foods such as broccoli and spinach, from a young age,” said Fewtrell.