Many companies that manufacture baby foods, produce junk baby food as well as nutritious baby foods and yet, they choose to advertise only the junk food. A recent report called Baby Food FACTS found that several companies that produce a healthy line of fruit-and-vegetable-based foods also have brands that push nutritionally poor sugar-sweetened milk products but these companies choose to only advertise their unhealthy products and not the healthy ones. The report says, “Companies spend advertising dollars promoting products that are not recommended for young children”.
What Do Baby Junk Food Advertisers Spend On?
The report showed that99% of the advertising for baby foods is from the biggest brands in the market which in turn is controlled by just a few companies. Of all the money that these companies spend on advertising, over 60% is for products that are nutritionally inferior products. Ads for these baby foods and infant formulas target “internet moms” as they focus on social media and “mom blogs”. However, TV-ad spending has dropped by over 30% as the number of stay at home mums has decreased.
Nestlé Products – Are They Really The Best?
Nestlé is the largest food company in the world and so it’s no surprise that it was included in the report. Nestlé has been linked to several serious health issues in the last decade alone. In India, Nestlé’s Maggi noodles were found to have lead levels that were 17 times beyond permissible safe limits in addition to containing monosodium glutamate. In Hong Kong, Nestlé milk products that contained melamine caused the death of six infants from kidney damage and the hospitalization of a further 860 babies. After each of these fiascos, Nestlé pumped millions of dollars into repairing their brand image. It is important to keep in mind that the majority of the profits earned by the largest baby food companies goes towards marketing and advertising and not towards the improvement of the product itself.
Why Baby Junk Food Is The Worst Option For Your Child
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies receive exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months at the very least and that should be followed by a minimum of 8 months to a year of complementary feeding. In fact, the WHO (World Health Organization) advocates breastfeeding during the first two years of life. However, many baby food products are now targeting babies that are just 3-4 months old and unsuspecting young mothers fall for these marketing ploys.
The chemical additives and high sugar levels in baby junk foods can be habit forming. It is likely to make your toddler crave junk foods and it can even lead to a lifelong dependence on processed foods. This is why it is especially important to help your child develop healthy eating habits right from the start.