From 500+ calorie desserts disguised as coffee drinks to inflammatory-causing, fat-gaining fast food; we adults typically know when we’re making less than optimal food choices.
What we may not realize, however, is that the food we habitually give young children – infants/toddlers, especially – are essentially junk food.
Convenient food that contains needless sugar, high amounts of sodium, additives, preservatives and even inflammatory oils are setting the stage for sugar addictions and unsound eating habits.
One of the biggest predictors of health issues are typically sugar and inflammatory oil exposure and how early that exposure begins.
Let’s take a look at common infant/toddler snack items and their ingredients which are usually given at the first sign of teething or once teeth have come in:
Gerber Graduates Animal Crackers:
Ingredients: Whole Wheat Flour, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Ultra Low Linoleic Soybean Oil, Calcium Carbonate, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Molasses, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cinnamon, Salt, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Soy Lecithin, Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Ferric Orthophosphate (Iron), Mixed Tocopherols (for Freshness), Calcium Phosphate, Zinc Oxide, Natural Flavor.
Most of these ingredients are worrisome for infants/toddlers, but the one’s highlighted in red should never be in an adult’s diet, much less in an infant’s! (p.s. “Natural Flavor” is a clever way to disguise ingredients like MSG).
Nabisco Zwieback Toast:
Ingredients: Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Sugar, Butter (Cream From Milk. Salt), Soybean Oil, Lactalbumin (a Milk Protein), Yeast, Wheat Gluten (a Protein), Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil (Emulsifier), (Adds a Trivial Amount of Trans Fat), Eggs, Spices (Cinnamon, Mace, Nutmeg), Salt, Potassium Carbonate. Egg Whites, Mono- and Diglycerides.
Again, most of the ingredients shouldn’t be given to infants. Oh, and “Adds a trivial amount of trans fat“?! Since when is trans fat trivial to adults, much less the little bodies of infants??
Rice flour, whole wheat flour, wheat starch, sugar, whole grain oat flour, dried strawberry puree, tri- and dicalcium phosphate, dried apple puree, mixed tocopherols (for freshness), apple juice concentrate, zinc sulfate, natural apple strawberry flavor, soy and sunflower lecithin, alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), electrolytic iron, strawberry juice concentrate.
Sweet Potato:Rice flour, whole wheat flour, wheat starch, sugar, whole grain oat flour ,dried sweet potato puree, tri- and dicalcium phosphate, natural flavor, annatto extract color, mixed tocopherols (for freshness), zinc sulfate, soy and sunflower lecithin, alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), electrolytic iron.
Rice flour, whole wheat flour, wheat starch, whole grain oat flour, sugar, dried banana puree, tri- and dicalcium phosphate, natural banana flavor, mixed tocopherols (for freshness), soy lecithin, zinc sulfate, alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), electrolytic iron, caramel color, turmeric extract color, vanilla extract.
2 egg yolks
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 c almond flour
1/2 banana, mashed (mashed sweet potato works great also!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2-4 tablespoons water (to be used if dough is too dry when mixed)
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