A review of more than 80 baby and toddler snacks by Choice has shown that many have excessive sugar, create false healthy impressions and contain less fruit and vegetables than labels let on.
Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend one- to two-year-old babies eat half a standard serve of fruit and two-to-three serves of vegetables each day, and that all Australians limit their sugar intake.
“Whether it’s in the product name or a claim on the label, the majority of the snacks we looked at reference fruit, vegetables, yoghurt and organic ingredients, creating a ‘health halo’ around products that often don’t deserve it,” Choice Head of Media Tom Godfrey said.
“With claims such as ‘naturally sweetened with fruit ingredients’ and ingredients lists boasting vegetables such as kale and pumpkin, parents could easily be fooled into thinking these snacks are healthier than they actually are.”
Choice urged parents to read ingredients lists, check for fruit and vegetable content and consider all these products to be ‘sometimes food’, when buying baby or toddler snacks.
“While the occasional packaged snack is unlikely to hurt your baby, for the most part these products are unnecessary and a waste of money,” Mr Godfrey said.