food

The nutritional content of baby food falls far short of the recommended intake

Friday, August 24, 2012 by: Raw Michelle
Tags: baby food, nutrition, ingredients

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(NaturalNews) When considering what foods to feed their infants, most people are made fully aware of which baby foods their child dislikes by the terrible contortions their unpracticed face goes through. Almost universally, babies prefer the sweet fruits to any other combination of meats, vegetables, or other flavorings. A persistent school of thought simplifies the relationship to mean that foods that are not sweet or pleasurable are nutritious. Unfortunately, recent chemical analysis demonstrates that the top brands of jarred baby food are no where near meeting baby's nutritional needs.

A strong foundation for future growth

Nutrition is especially important to infants. Human offspring are born with their central nervous system incomplete. This does not mean, as old dogma believed, that babies have any lack of sensory perception. It means that because a child's size at birth is limited by the allowances of the mother's body, the dimensions of the skull are only half developed. In the next 6 months, the child's head size alone will double. Comparative to the young of other species, human offspring leave the womb in the middle of their gestation time, simply because they will no longer fit. Their nutritional demands continue at the pre-natal level, but since they are no longer siphoning nutrients from the mother's blood, they now rely on manual feedings for the essential nutrients.

Undercutting the best efforts of parents

The problem is especially pronounced among the micro nutrients that are derived from non-plant sources, like meats and dairy. Unfortunately, these are also the main nutrients that support strong skeletal growth. Nutrients including calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc amounted to less than 20% of what a baby's growing body needs. The studies referred to the Recommended Nutritional Intake (RNI) as scripted for children between the ages of six and nine months. Nearly all other essential minerals, with the exception of potassium, did not meet the recommendation. Even with the supplementation of an additional 600ml of milk formula, another common but dietarily insufficient convenience food, it still places the dietary input well below the nutritional requirements.

Making your own baby food might be required, not "extra effort"

Currently, baby-food manufacturers are not required to list the micronutrients on their labels with the other nutritional information. Parents are often mislead by the label "ready to eat" into believing that the dish doesn't, as it claims, require anything else added to it.

The study brings to light one of the many reasons that more detailed and stringent government regulation is needed for food labeling. Typically these foods are used for children between the ages of six months to a year, to bridge the gap between breast feeding and the consumption of whole foods. The nutritional support that baby food provides must be substantial in order to make up the deficit that is created when parents begin to wean their new family member off of milk.

Sources for this article include:

http://consciousparentingsummit.com

http://www.e-radiography.net/radpath/c/craniostenosis.htm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814611003712

http://www.nutraingredients.com

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.

Click here to see more by Michelle

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