The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study has been an annual report of eating habits among young children since 2002.
Nearly 10,000 parents and caregivers of children under the age of four were surveyed for the study. This year, the study showed major gaps in food choices in children's diets.
Here are some findings from this year's report:
- Eighteen percent of infants between six and twelve months do not consume the recommended amount of iron
- Fewer than twenty-five percent of infants get the recommended amount of vitamin D
- Forty percent of one-year-olds and seventy to seventy-five percent of two to three-year-olds exceed the upper limit for sodium
According to Dr. Wendy Johnson with Nutrition, Health and Wellness for Nestle USA,
"Good nutrition during a child's early years is particularly critical because it sets the stage for healthy eating throughout life. Exposing young children to a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and a variety of foods and flavors, is important as children are forming their tastes and eating habits for life."
Considering that more than twenty-seven percent of young children do not consume a single serving of vegetables on any given day, it's no surprise that the number one vegetable toddlers do eat are french fries.
Researchers are suggesting parents encourage their children to try a variety of vegetables, even if it takes up to ten times for their kids to accept new foods.
For more information about the findings of the study, including suggestions on how to ensure your children eat healthy for life, click here.
Liz Coffman has worked in the advertising industry for over 7 years and is passionate about connecting people to the world around them through her writing. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Liz is also a professional musician, avid rock climber, hiker and adventure seeker.