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Study Shows That Diets of Infants are Improving; Concerns Remain for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Date:10/18/2009

DENVER, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- American Dietetic Association's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo -- Parents and caregivers are hearing and following the feeding guidance for infants, yet continued work needs to be done to help them also build good eating habits for their growing children, suggests data from the Nestle Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) released today at a symposium at the American Dietetic Association's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo.

The study reveals both progress and areas of concern in the diets of young children in the United States. The data show some positive trends versus 2002 when Gerber Products Company, now part of the Nestle family, first commissioned the FITS study. Infants are being breastfed longer; and fewer infants and toddlers are consuming sweets and sweetened beverages on a given day. However, other findings are less positive -- on a given day, many toddlers and preschoolers aren't eating a single serving of vegetables or fruit; and many toddlers and preschoolers are consuming diets with less than the recommended 30-to-40 percent of calories from fat. Most preschoolers are eating too much saturated fat and sodium.

The FITS findings suggest that more guidance and support is needed to help caregivers better transition from feeding their babies to meeting the unique nutrition and feeding needs of a toddler or preschooler. As a result, too many young children are mirroring the often unhealthy eating patterns of American adults.

Leveraging science to nourish a healthier generation

"Good nutrition from birth through preschool sets the foundation for healthy habits later in life," said Dr. Kathleen Reidy, Head, Nutrition Science, Meals & Drinks, Nestle Nutrition. "The Nestle FITS data provide a rich source of information and we'll continue to analyze the data for new insights, sharing and applying our findings to advance the qualit
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SOURCE Nestle
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