Sugar Content in Baby Food
5 min read
Research from health campaigners Action on Sugar has revealed that some weaning ‘snacks’ and foods intended for babies and toddlers contain an alarming amount of sugar.
In their analysis of 73 baby products in the UK, Action on Sugar found that only six met the criteria to be classed as low sugar or have a green label for sugar content. Out of the products analysed, 27 were ‘red’ on the traffic light food labelling system due to their high sugar content. At present, children’s food is not required to display the traffic light labelling.
Despite the high sugar content of these products, 36 of the products claimed on the packet that they were suitable for babies under 12 months. Sugar should be avoided for children under 12 months.
Action on Sugar found that a popular baby product, Heinz Farley’s Mini Rusks, contained 8.7g of sugar per serving - the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar - despite being labelled as suitable for babies as young as 7 months.
Likewise, Kiddylicious Banana Crispy Tiddlers were found to be almost 60% sugar, with 59g of sugar for every 100g of the product!
Another product identified with high sugar content was the Organix Banana Soft Oaty Bars, containing 8.1g of sugar due to being sweetened with apple juice concentrate. While fruit content is better than added sugar, the sweetness of fruit juice can still impact on baby’s diet.
A Statement from Our Nutritionist, Catherine Lippe
“I fully support the report from Action on Sugar on The Sugar Content of Baby and Toddler Snacks. There is certainly a need for the food industry to take responsibility in providing accurate and transparent messaging to parents and I am delighted that this has always been a core value for Babease.
It’s not just about offering vegetable-led weaning products, Babease also pride themselves on honest labelling. So much so that they put an ingredients wheel on the back of all their packs meaning parents can see, at a glance, how much of each ingredient is in the product. There are no added sugars, fruit purees or juices used to sweeten the products and fruit isn’t hidden behind vegetable titles.
Babease also understand that snacks are not recommended for infants under 12 months and that’s why they don’t offer or promote a snack range for infants. It is possible for the food industry to support the growth of babies without compromising on flavour, nutrition or health and I feel that Babease are achieving this with their honest, nutritious and veg-led weaning range.”
Why Should Babies Avoid Sugar?
First tastes have a lasting impression, and introducing your little one to sugar, syrup and sweet foods can cause a preference for sweetened food that can last a lifetime. It can make it challenging to introduce nutritious vegetables due to a preference for sugary flavours over bitter tastes.
In the long term, a preference for sweet foods can contribute to tooth decay and a range of health concerns that can impact on adult life.
Sugar Content in Babease Products
Here at Babease, we’re all about ensuring that our food for babies contains as little sugar as possible - our products have no added sugar and are packed with veggies - prioritising nutritious vegetables over sweeter fruit tastes.
While some brands have been found to have high levels of sugar in their finger food products, our pea puffs are made from 100% green pea flour, with less than 0.1g of naturally occurring sugar in each puff.
All of our pouches have no added sugar or salt and contain as little naturally occurring sugar as possible. Our Pumpkin and Peas pouch contains only 2.9g of naturally occurring sugars per 100g. While a traffic light system does not exist for baby products, adult food and drink guidance states that a product is considered ‘green’ if the total sugars are less than or equal to 5g/100g.
If you’d like more advice on providing sugar-free meals for your little one, take a look at our blog or check out our nutritious recipes for families that are baby-safe with no added sugar or salt.