Friday, July 6, 2007

Really Sad

I was snooping around the Gerber web site, trying to find out where their products are made, and I came across some really depressing statistics:

  • Soda is being served to infants as young as 7 months.
  • Nearly 25% of children ages 19-24 months don't eat a single fruit or vegetable in a day
  • French fries are the most commonly consumed vegetable for toddlers aged 15-24 months
  • By 19-24 months, most children consume sweets, salty foods, or deserts at least once a day

Who feeds their kids like this? It was a study of nearly 3000 children, so I guess a lot of people do. I remember my cousin feeding her daughter soda in a bottle, but I always thought that was the exception rather than something normal. When my daughter was a baby, probably around 9 months old, she played with another little girl who was a few weeks younger than her that ate Cheetos, but again, I thought that was not normal.

I kept most sweets away from my baby daughter until she was a year old. She got cake for her birthday. My soon-to-be 8 month old son's desserts consist of Gerber's "Hawaiian Delight" or bananas, pears and apples. I thought most babies ate that way.

I know that toddlers can be picky, but no fruit or vegetables on an average day? Wow. My 8 month old gets fruit AND vegetables nearly every day. My 5 year old gets both almost every day as well... nearly every weekday I serve vegetables, she's always eating fruit and we can't keep it in the house long, and she's always asking for fruit juice.

Us grown-ups might have a hard time consuming good food, but at least we can say that our brains are done growing. When children are babies, their brains are growing at the fastest rate that they will in their entire lives. I just find it sad that so many people are not giving them a good start by feeding them fruits and vegetables, and keeping the sweets (especially soda) away.

I mean, how hard can it be to keep soda out of a 7 month old's diet? It's not like they're actually clamoring for the stuff at that age.

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