A study published by Belgian consumer group Test Achats on 24 May, which tested a range of 64 ready-to-eat baby food jars to assess whether they meet nutritional requirements, has revealed that not a single product met the nutritional requirements, according to a press release.
The main finding of the study: all the pots contain far too little fat. During the first year of a baby’s life, around 40-50% of calories should come from fats. None of the baby food pots meet the minimum 10 grams of fat per jar.
“One (jar), namely Ella’s Kitchen veggie couscous with herbs 6+, even contained less than 1 gram of fat,” Test Achats notes. Even the two best performing baby foods did not exceed 6 grams of fat.
Many of the baby foods also contained excessive amounts of protein. Excess protein can “overload the kidneys” and lead children to become overweight in later life, according to the organisation. Five baby foods equally contained too little protein.
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“We are very concerned by the results of our tests which show that the small pots, specifically intended for children, do not meet their nutritional needs,” Julie Frère, a spokesperson for Test Achats, stated in a press release.
The consumer states that home-made foods and pastes are better suited to young children, and advises against relying on processed baby foods. If purchasing pre-made baby foods, Test Achats states that customers should always check the label to assess nutritional content and the intended age range.
If they lack fat, parents have been told that they can always “add a little oil” to the pre-made baby foods.
The findings of the study have been forwarded to the FPS Public health and Federal Agency for the Security of the Food Chain (AFSCA).