Poor Eating Habits Begin Early

Snacking is an American Way of Life

A new nutrition study found that children as young as 12 months are consuming one third of their daily calories between meals. This constant snacking develops unhealthy eating habits.

The Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study began in 2002. The study examined the evolution of children’s diets from birth through to preschool, including sources of calories, key nutrients and snacking patterns.

The survey was expanded in 2008 to find out whether the eating habits of young children in America had changed since 2002.

More than 3,200 children are included in the survey. This study is the largest, most-comprehensive study of the diets and eating habits of infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the United States.

Tristan wants a snack, but his mom said “Not now it’s too close to dinner.”

Researchers found toddlers from the age of 12 months and older consumed one-third of their daily calories from snacking between meals. That is shocking when you consider that 10 percent of young children between 2 and 5 years old are categorized as obese.

“We’re seeing poor eating habits starting early in life, and they mirror those of older children and adults,” said Dr Kathleen Reidy, Global Head of Nutrition Science, Baby Food, at Nestlé Nutrition. “It’s important to establish the foundation for healthy diets early in life when eating habits and preferences are being formed.”

Your children eat what you purchase and eat yourself. Children are snacking all day, because their parents are doing the same thing. If you want your kids to have good eating habits, you need to model them yourself. Simple dietary changes can make huge improvements in the quality of kids’ diets.

Three Simple Steps to Improve Your Child’s Diet
1. Limit snacking.
2. Time snacking to 1½ to 2 hours before a meal.
3. Snacks should be mini-meals. Offer healthy options such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt and whole grain foods.


For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.

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