How often do we see food ads exclusively for children? This food is supposed to be completely different from that for adults, that children need something completely different from food, etc. More than one generation of parents has grown up with the stereotype that baby food should be radically different from adult food. But is it? If you look at the issue globally, then healthy eating is healthy for everyone. And what is harmful to a child’s body is just as harmful to an adult’s body.
The medical community’s position on nutrition is that there is no difference between healthy foods for adults and children aged 2 and over, except for age-appropriate texture and portion adjustments.
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These are the conclusions of the researchers and published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
“If you think about the baby food, the archetype or terminology we usually use to describe the food we feed our children, it is actually a social rule or a social construct that we have perpetuated.“- says Dr. Pamela Rothpletz-Puglia from the State University of New Jersey in a comment on Medicalxpress.
Baby food is defined in practical terms as food that can be consumed by children between the ages of 2 and 14 at home or in the community. There is a long-held belief that children need foods that are different from adults and many of these foods are highly processed, high in calories and rich in saturated fat, salt and added sugar. A diet that favors these foods can have a significant detrimental effect on children’s tastes and preferences, can worsen the food neophobia or selective eating behavior that is sometimes observed in children, and can affect their future health.
In their study, the authors note that the idea that children need different foods from adults seems to date back to the time of the alcohol ban, when the hospitality industry created children’s menus to make up for the loss of income from selling alcohol. It has since been known that children over the age of 2 can eat the same healthy foods as adults, but children’s food and menus have become the social norm. This social norm persists because the food environment is dominated by highly processed foods such as chicken carcasses, hot dogs, french fries and grilled cheeses and is loved by children.
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Healthy food for everyone
Nutritionists and nutritionists play a key role in changing consumer demand and social norms about food choices. They should make it clear to parents that all kinds of highly processed foods for children are actually of little use. Experts should also disseminate that children over the age of 2 can eat the same healthy foods as adults (subject to age restrictions and nutritional needs).
They can also help improve the unhealthy aspects of the baby food archetype by working with the media, the restaurant industry and politicians on health promotion, marketing, menu labeling and healthy default menu options. This should be done by turning child nutrition towards healthy eating p.)
“I believe we need to work with communities, food industry representatives and politicians. We must work together and create mutually beneficial solutionssays Rothpletz-Apulia.
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Anyone considering changing their diet should talk to a doctor or dietitian in advance. This material has been prepared based on the latest research, the findings of scientists and doctors. The material is for general information purposes only and does not contain medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor for diagnosis or medical advice.