I made some mistakes when I first became a mom. Yes, there were many things I was good at, like knowing the exact moment my kids were going to throw up, how to rapidly change a diaper despite flailing baby limbs, and even know how to ninja them from the car into the crib. But when it came time to transition Red from formula to solids and “chewables,” I didn’t do so well. For instance, the picky eater I didn’t know I had glommed onto crackers and yogurts, almost to the point where he wouldn’t eat anything else! It was only after “starving” him out (I made sure to consult with my pediatrician) for a meal or two that he started eating veggies, fruits and more diverse foods. Because of those pitfalls, I’m keenly aware of what’s going into Scarlett’s belly; I’m determined to make wiser choices!
Beech-Nut released a nutritional study that revealed what babies in the U.S. between 0-24 months old are eating, and I was a little embarrassed to read the results. I had been the parent offering crackers, yogurts and less “whole” foods as soon as my child was off purees. The study mentioned that by the 9-12 month mark, babies’ diets started to become imbalanced and only 30% were getting vegetables! At 23 months, the main source of veggies was French fries and potatoes. Not even my adult diet is that bad, but it was sure what I had been offering Red. Shame on me! There were a few other intriguing results of the study, some of which are recapped in these awesome infographics:
Infant Nutrition Study Facts at a Glance:
- More than 60% are getting fruit; half comes from 100% juice, followed by bananas and apples
- Less than 30% are getting vegetables (leafy greens make up 1% of consumption)
- Close to 30% are drinking sugar-sweetened beverages; by 24 months it increases to almost 45%
- Nearly 40% are eating crackers and savory snacks
- The primary sources of sodium are hot dogs, cured meats, crackers, cheese and pasta
- The primary sources of added sugars are fruit drinks, soft drinks, cookies and brownies, yogurt
Nicole Silber’s tip sheet for parents, called “How We Can Do Better to Feed Our Babies,” available on the Beech-Nut blog, shares more information with you and your children on your journey to solid foods. It mentions some great ideas like serving purees for a longer period of time, blending up exotic blends yourself, like cumin and black beans, or introducing veggies right from the start (something I’m already improving with!).
What are your struggles when feeding your babies? What do you wish you were doing differently?
I am very pleased to announce that I will be working with Beech-Nut during 2016 as a sponsored ambassador, sharing Scarlett’s journey to solid foods and shedding some light on the #BabysFirstFoods process. Come and share a bite to eat!