Nestle Nutrition study shows children develop unhealthy eating habits before starting school

Oct. 5—A new study by Nestle Nutrition shows that American children as young as 12 months develop unhealthy dietary patterns, which may lead to obesity later in life.

The results of the study should come as no surprise to many school nutrition directors, who have lamented recent attacks from parents, media and others blaming their programs for the increase in childhood obesity.

“I don’t know why all of a sudden K-12 feeding became the focal point of obesity in the United States,” said Brendan Ryan, foodservice director at 8,500-student Framingham (Mass.) School District, in FoodService Director’s October 2012 cover story “Legislating Health.” “Why are we being charged as the cure-all? The kids go home and they lead a latchkey lifestyle and it’s sedentary. They go home and they eat a bag of potato chips, and all that we’ve done is for naught. You just ask, ‘What are we doing here?’ It can’t all be put on the food.”

The Nestle study found that parents need better nutrition guidance to help their children develop healthy eating habits.

“We’re seeing poor eating habits starting early in life, and they mirror those of older children and adults,” Dr. Kathleen Reidy, global head of nutrition science, baby food, at Nestle Nutrition, said in a press release. “It’s important to establish the foundation for healthy diets early in life when eating habits and preferences are being formed. It is much easier to establish good habits when children are young rather than try to correct poor habits later.”

The study also found that toddlers from the age of 12 months and up consumed one-third of their daily calories from snacking between meals.

The Nestle Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study began in 2002. With more than 3,200 children in the research, it is the largest study of diets and eating habits of infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the United States.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Just over 100 foodservice workers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have voted to join a branch of the Service Employees International Union, KIMT reports.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota said that 89% of the ballots cast during last week’s election were in favor of unionizing.

The workers are employed by Sodexo, Mayo Clinic’s current foodservice vendor. The clinic recently announced plans to switch vendors to Morrison Healthcare Food Services, a move that has sparked backlash from workers and led to a lawsuit from the SEIU .

Read the full story via .

Sponsored Content
pasta dish from NC State

From Barilla.

Good-for-you food doesn’t do much good if it’s a hard sell to get diners to eat it. Luckily, pasta is nearly always a crowd-pleaser, especially with student athletes who benefit from its nutritional boost.

“One thing about pasta is that students like it,” says Lisa Eberhart, a registered dietician and director of nutrition and wellness for North Carolina State University, where they serve Barilla pasta. “It’s also a great source of slow-burning carbohydrates.”

In fact, 57% of Gen Z consumers and 58% of millennials call pasta a “preferred food,”...

Industry News & Opinion

The Los Angeles Unified School District has lifted its ban on flavored milk in an effort to reduce food waste, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After implementing the ban in 2011, the district noticed that many students would simply throw away their unused milk containers, causing them to end up in landfills. In order to combat the problem, the district’s board is launching a four-part study in 21 schools that will examine different ways to encourage kids to drink more plain milk.

One of the theories proposed is that students will be more likely to drink plain milk if they...

Industry News & Opinion

As Harvard University’s dining staff strike continues , the school has added an extra $25 to student accounts, providing more flexibility for students to eat outside of the dining halls, The Harvard Crimson reports.

The extra funds were added to Crimson Cash and BoardPlus accounts, which students can use to pay for food both on and off campus.

Aside from some technical issues with payment processing, students are grateful for the extra money, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Since the strike began two weeks ago, students have complained about food quality in the...

FSD Resources