New dietary guidelines for infants: Added sugars not good for babies

National

(CNN/WFTV/KGO) — Every bit counts. That’s the new motto for parents with babies younger than two.

What parents feed their babies during the first years contributes to their long-term health.

That’s according to the first-ever guidelines created for infants and toddlers by the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which puts out science-based recommendations on how our diets affect our health twice each decade.

Among the recommendations? No amount of added sugar is okay for a baby.

Registered Dietician Page Love says while she was surprised to read that, it made sense.

“For infants the concern, and I understand this, if they are given fruit juice, which has those natural and added sugars, it may displace those other important nutrient sources and it will also get the baby used to craving sweet beverages,” she said.

Added sugars, which differ from natural sugars in things like fruit, can increase their risk of obesity in the future.

“We now have new labeling guidelines that allow for a more descriptive way to analyze added sugar,” said Love. “So you’ll now see total sugar on labels but you’ll also see added sugar.”

Another new recommendation from the committee — if you’re breastfeeding, make sure you’re accounting for the lower amount of vitamin D in breast milk until your child is drinking fortified cow’s milk or formula.

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