Thursday, October 27, 2005

Where's the Real Food?

Can you imagine feeding a toddler a full day of only packaged, processed foods? Well, it seems Gerber has no problem making such a recommendation to parents who visit their website seeking information about feeding a toddler!

The graphic heading of the Menu 1 page makes the implicit claim that the menus are designed to be a "Start Healthy Stay Healthy" feeding plan.

So, what's on the menu for Day 1?

Ready for this?

Breastmilk, formula or whole milk
1/3 cup Gerber Rice Cereal with Ingredients of Formula

Breastmilk, formula or whole milk
1 Gerber 3rd FOODS™ Lil' Entrées Macaroni and Cheese Dinner with Apples & Chicken

Breastmilk, formula or whole milk
6 ounces Gerber 3rd FOODS™ Green Beans with Rice

4 ounces Gerber Apple Plum Juice
3 ounces Gerber Blueberry Buckle Dessert

This is a "Stay Healthy" feeding plan?

Good grief, is it any wonder our children are growing fatter each year?

Not only is the above menu ALL processed foods if one is using formula - it's severely deficient for essential nutrients when analyzed against the Institute of Medicine (IOM) micronutrient RDA's for a toddler!

It missed the following critical vitamins and minerals:
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Fiber (just 3g all day)
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Folate
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin K
  • Selenium
  • Calories

The above menu (using 32-ounces of formula in the day) also exceeded the upper limit for Vitamin A (added vitamin A) for toddlers with 617mcg - the upper limit is 600mcg, and the upper limit for iron (from added iron) with 21.25mg of iron, and the upper limit from iron is 10mg.

And it only had 11mg of cholesterol - and cholesterol is critical to brain development! Oh, and don't get me started on how much sugar was in this menu...the total carbohydrate for the day was 158-grams - all of it, with the exception of the 3g of fiber, turning into glucose in the metabolism.

Keep in mind too, this menu provides 41g of total fat - 34% of calories which is actually a bit low for fat for a toddler, but that isn't my concern concern is how much of that is trans-fats? According to the FitDay analysis, of those 41g of fat, 13g were saturated fat, 7g were polyunsaturated fat, and 13g were monounsaturated fat. If you add those up, that accounts for 33g of the fat grams - leaving potentially 8g of trans-fats! Eight grams of trans-fats potentially in a menu designed to feed a toddler?

How in the world does Gerber get away with claiming such a nutritionally bankrupt and potentially "health damaging" (from the level of trans-fats) menu is "healthy"?

If you're a parent, I urge you to start reading labels carefully and stop looking to food manufacturer's on guidance about what is "healthy" for your children's diet. Feed your children real, whole foods - not this packaged, processed food that leaves them starving for critical, essential nutrients!

1 comment:

  1. It's absolutely mind-boggling.

    Where is the common sense? I can't believe people use the Gerber website and their marketing "steps" as a guideline to feed their babies!

    I'm not that crazy about cereals in a box, but cereal in a box WITH formula? You've got to be kidding me.