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Chocolate- and vanilla-flavored formulas for toddlers are criticized

Nutritionists and mothers say the new product from Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. will lead to obesity.

May 06, 2010|By Julie Wernau

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, normal toddlers will experience a sharp drop in appetite after age 1 because of slowed growth. A typical 1-year-old needs just 1,000 calories a day, according to the academy, about half that of the average adult. The academy recommended providing several nutrition-rich options and allowing a toddler to choose what he or she wants to eat from those options. For toddlers who refuse to eat any of it, the academy recommended wrapping up the food for later when the child will be more hungry.

Feeding a toddler sweets at that age, the pediatric organization said, will fuel the child's interest in eating more sweets and diminish their interest in nutritious foods, and dietary supplements are rarely needed for toddlers who eat a varied diet.

"They just want to eat bread and crackers," said Jill Houk, co-founder of Centered Chef Food Studios in Chicago and a participant in the Healthy Schools Campaign, "They want to eat fruit or anything sweet. In the short term, it may seem like 'I just want to get nutrition in this child.' But in reality, you're creating a very bad situation."

jwernau@tribune.com

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