Remember a few years ago when that study came out that French fries were the favored vegetable of toddlers and preschoolers, and, in fact, were sometimes the only vegetable kids get in a day?
Well, that study has been updated, and the news is better, but not great. The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, or FITS, found that while kids still don’t get enough fruits and vegetables, there’s some good news as well. Mothers are breastfeeding longer, and kids are consuming fewer sweets and sweetened drinks.
But still, a quarter of older infants, toddlers and preschoolers don’t eat a single serving of fruit on a given day, and even more, 30 percent, don’t eat a single serving of vegetables. That’s about the same as the last time the survey was done, in 2002.
Back when the 2002 study hit the headlines, I rolled my eyes and thought “Geez, I can’t believe how badly people feed their kids! They just need to offer them a wide variety of foods and not offer junk and they’ll eat just fine!”
Do I need to tell you I hadn’t had my first kid yet? And that kid actually was a pretty good eater — likes vegetables, likes fruit, will eat sugar until the cows come home but at least she’ll eat good stuff. Kid number two, however, has been raised in the same family, was actually breastfed longer than the first kid, and gets offered a wide variety of good foods and every meal includes a vegetable or fruit yadda yadda. Guess what? Child is picky as can be and refuses most fruits and vegetables and left to his own devices would eat nothing but carbs and cheese forever and ever amen. Our dog is the prime beneficiary of my well-balanced meals since everything he doesn’t like goes right over the side of the highchair.
I should also add that the study was funded by Nestle. Yes, the chocolate people, who also make baby formula, Gerber baby food and those horrid processed toddler foods. Puffs aren’t fruit, people, no matter how much they try to make them seem like the next best thing.