Study shows the shocking things Kiwi kids are fed

Are Kiwi babies getting the food they need? 

It's a questioned posed and answered by new research funded by the Ministry of Social Development, and the findings are concerning experts.  

Baby Ava's baby food is textbook, but not all babies are this lucky. 

The 'Growing up in New Zealand' Study involving six and a half thousand Kiwi families has produced some staggering results. 

Dr Sarah Gerttsen shares some of the results 

"At nearly every indicator Maori and Pacific families are struggling to adhere to guidelines more than Europeans".

"This is a wake-up call, this report, for these agencies, ministry of health, and health professionals that we're making sure our messaging to parents is clear and we're supporting families in a way that they can follow the guidelines".

By nine months old 80 percent of all children were eating iron rich food at least once daily, 86 percent weren't having sugar added to their meals, and it was a similar result for adding salt.

But more than half had tried foods high in sugar or salt like lollies or chips.  More than 40 percent had tried sugary drinks. 

Dr Clair Wall, a nutritionist explains "In terms of salt it's serious because infants have quite immature kidneys so they can't handle a high salt load"

Only 37 percent were eating fruit at least twice daily, and even fewer than those were eating vegetables.

Dr Wall says  that "Babies have an innate liking for sweet food, they've got a sweet tooth, and so by providing sugar early in life you're going to encourage that sweet tooth and encourage the preference for sugary foods".

She says it makes foods like vegetables taste bland in comparison, and that's something that's hard to reverse.

Dr Gerttsen agrees

"If you're having high sugar high salt food as an infant, it's really difficult to then as a 20 year old decide you want to live a healthy lifestyle"

So, keeping it clean from the start will keep them healthier and happier in the long run.  



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