As babies grow, their nutritional needs change. From around 6 months, infants can start exploring the tastes and textures of non-liquid food, supplementing the essential nutrition they receive from breast milk. This is an important time to look for food products that can contribute to optimal growth and development.
Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS)
Research shows that regular exposure to a variety of foods and flavors in the early stages of life can positively affect a child’s food preferences and eating habits later in life.
In 2008, Nestlé Nutrition conducted its Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study of children up to four years old. This followed a 2002 study by Gerber examining the eating habits and nutrient intake of more than 3000 US infants and toddlers aged 4–24 months.
The findings from these studies indicate that:
- Nearly 25% of 19 to 24-month-old babies consumed no fruit or vegetables.
- French fries were the most common vegetable item consumed by infants aged 15–18 months.
- Almost 50% of 7 to 8-month-old babies consumed desserts, sweets or sweetened beverages.
- Children did not consume enough healthy fats or fiber and consumed too much salt.
In addition, many studies available in the public domain show that 33% of children in the world are stunted (i.e. low height for age) a reflection of chronic malnutrition. In low- and medium-income countries in particular, stunting increases dramatically after 6 months of age. This is because babies are not weaned with adequate nutritious foods to meet their needs.
These research findings were shared with parents and paediatrician and have helped Nestlé Nutrition develop a range of nutrition options to support your infant’s crucial early years.
Nestlé infant cereals – the ideal food to complement breastfeeding
Infant cereals are the ideal food to complement breastfeeding. They provide all the natural goodness of cereal grains and are nutritionally complete and balanced. Nestlé infant cereals are the first cereals for infants with Bifidus BL and Immunonutrients, scientifically proven to help strengthen babies’ natural defences during the critical period where complementary foods are introduced and first year of life.
Nestlé NaturNes – best nutrition and taste
The Nestlé NaturNes range uses a patented steam process to retain the essential nutrients and natural taste of the high-quality fruits and vegetables it contains. All recipes are made with 100% natural ingredients, with no added salt, sugar or food additives. Each family of ingredients is cooked separately at a specific time and temperature to best preserve their nutrients and natural taste.
Gerber Graduates – nutrition for toddlers
Toddlers are well known for being picky eaters. Nearly 25% of children under 2 years old consume:
- No fruits or vegetables.
- Not enough healthy fats or fiber.
- Too much salt.
Gerber Graduates is a specially designed range of foods tailored to the nutrition needs of toddlers, providing tasty choices for this very active stage of life.