I received a free sample of Gerber Graduates Toddler Drink today. I will never feed this to my daughter. I threw it out after reading the ingredients.
Carbohydrates are important for all of us. They are turned into energy that our bodies can use quickly or stored (as fat) for later use. The problem happens when we intake too many carbohydrates and do not balance it with a corresponding level of physical activity. When we take in more carbs then we burn, we store the excess as fat in our bodies.
Considering that obesity is a worldwide epidemic, we consume more carbohydrates than we burn on the whole. Either we are becoming more lazy, our diets are becoming more sugary and starchy, or a combination of them both. Obesity can be a contributing factor in both heart disease and diabetes (just to name a few). Sugary diets can lead to tooth decay.
When I received my free sample of Gerber Graduates Toddler Drink, I immediately thought positive thoughts. Here is a company that has been making baby food since forever and surely must know how to aid child nutrition. The ingredients told a different story. Here are the main ingredients (in order):
Fresh Skim Milk
Corn and Canola Oils
So basically, Gerber Graduates Toddler Drink is a milkshake; milk, cream, and sugar. Last time I heard, milkshakes were (and still are) very, very fattening. The irony here is the quote on that sample liner “Try this FREE SAMPLE and make giving your toddler good nutrition the easiest part of your day”. If I am to understand Gerber correctly, I am supposed to give this milkshake to my 15 month old daughter in her sippy cup several times per day in order to ensure her good nutrition. Yes, there are vitamin and mineral supplements that come with this milkshake, but at what cost?
Can I not just feed my daughter a balanced and healthy diet without the milkshake aspect? Yes, I can, and I will continue to do so. I feed her each and every food group every time I feed her. She is used to eating this way, and enjoys all types of foods. The Gerber Graduates Toddler Drink milkshake idea is abhorrent to me. I believe that food preferences are wired at a very young age. I also feel that the child who is raised with sugary Num Nums and Gerber Graduates Toddler Drink will learn to love sugar and fat. This could lead to infant obesity or obesity later on in life (and the myriad of other ill-effects linked to obesity).
In short, thanks for the invite, Gerber, but I’ll give your toddler milkshake a pass. I’ll wait until my daughter is a bit older to introduce her to the deliciousness of milkshakes.
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