Trendy pureed baby food is bad for infants’ teeth and may also lead to childhood obesity because it is too sweet, parents have been warned.
A study of popular baby food brands including Ella’s Kitchen and Cow & Gate found they are highly fruit-based.
Some high street baby foods which appear to be savoury, with broccoli and red peppers, have tiny amounts of these ingredients and contain mainly apple and pear.
Public health nutritionist Dr Helen Crawley, co-author of the study into 343 products, told the Royal Society of Medicine this week: ‘Despite what foods might be named, many of them are actually mostly apple and pear puree.’
Her report says there is a ‘predominance’ of sweet baby foods on the market, adding: ‘This is of concern, as a high sugar intake is linked to poor oral health, may accustom infants to very sweet tastes and may contribute to overweight later in childhood.’
Experts say apple and pear are used so widely because they are cheap, easy to puree and easily accepted by babies.
Ella’s Kitchen said: ‘The sugars in our products are only naturally occurring, just like you would find in a whole piece of fruit or if you pureed baby food at home.’
Cow & Gate said its food meets strict nutritional standards and it has removed ‘all fruit tastes from our savoury jars’.