Parents warned over high levels of sugar in baby and toddler breakfasts

AGE FOTOSTOCK

Parents have been warned that many breakfast products for babies and toddlers contain high levels of sugar.

Following a survey of nearly 100 products, officials at Action on Sugar reported that Ella's Kitchen's Banana, Apple & Blueberry Baby Rice had the highest sugar per serving, with 14.5 grams of sugar per pouch - equivalent to four teaspoons of sugar.

This was followed by Ella's Kitchen's Banana Baby Brekkie (13.6 grams per serving) and Ella's Kitchen Bananas, Apricots + Baby Rice (13.5 grams per serving).

In addition, the researchers found that three-quarters of the products used a "no added sugar" or "only naturally occurring sugars" claim.

However, many add sugars in the form of fruit/vegetable juices, concentrates, purees and powders.

Babease Simply Smooth Avocado Breakfast with Yogurt, Spinach & Oats (3.5 grams of sugar per serving) was the only product in this survey that used vegetables as a flavour for their product.

In response, the team at Action on Sugar are calling for company leaders to remove misleading nutrition and health claims from all infant food and drink products.

"This survey has shown that there is an overwhelming number of products that taste too sweet and contain too much sugar, especially since this age group is recommended to avoid eating food with added sugar including sugar from fruit juices, concentrates and purees," said nutritionist Zoe Davies. "Parents put their trust in these companies to produce healthy age-appropriate meals for their babies but are misled by clever marketing and misleading claims dominating product packaging. The baby aisle should be seen as a safe space for parents and carers to go to for food that is suitable - not only texture wise, but nutritionally as well."