Babies may soon be dumping breast milk for a creamy chocolate or a packet of crisps, according to a new leaflet from an NHS hospital.
Leaflets being handed to new parents by Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust recommend feeding children over the age of eight months crisps, sugary sweets, chocolate and fried foods. This advice is aimed at helping children who have problems eating lumpy foods.
The junk food has been categorised into three divisions – squash/suck, bite and dissolve and easy chew food.
Chocolate bars, such as Crunchies and Kit Kats, are being recommended if the child is able to suck food well, and savoury snacks, including Skips, Wotsits and Quavers, have been placed into the bite and dissolve category.
These unconventional recommendations for a young child’s diet goes against the advice offered by paediatric nutritionists, who state that children under one year of age should not be offered foods containing added sugar.
It also goes against advice on the NHS choices website, which states that babies should not be given drinks or foods containing added salt, sugar and fat, as it will set a precedent for their future diet.
The director of nursing at Poole Hospital, Tracey Nutting, has defended the leaflets. She said this was the first of a range of documents provided to a small number of parents whose babies and toddlers suffer from feeding problems and are not able to move onto solid food due to a range of developmental or medical issues. She said the foods stated are not intended to become replacements for meals or to be used as a method for weight gain.
The Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association’s Dave Munday, was extremely sceptical about this and said that there are many foods out there that could be tried prior to suggesting what is contained in the leaflet.
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