Most Baby Foods Do Not Contain Added Sugar Regardless of Packaging
2 min read • By: Kristen Finn1, Russ Levitan1, Susan Pac1
1Gerber Nestlé Nutrition, Arlington, VA
A study on baby foods found that more than 90% of pouches, jars, and tubs for infants and toddlers are free from added sugar, except for yogurt-based products. Packaging type doesn't affect sugar content, but yogurt presence predicts added sugar. Pureed foods without yogurt rarely contain added sugar. Similar fruit and vegetable consumption was observed in pouch users and non-users.
Pouches account for 44% of pureed foods sold for infants and toddlers. Some reports suggest pouches are a source of added sugar for young children.
This study assessed added sugar content in baby foods sold in pouches, jars and tubs.
Foods in pouches, jars and tubs for infants and toddlers were identified using the Nielsen database.
Added sugar as declared in the Nutrition Facts panel was reviewed for products exceeding 500,000 unit equivalents of US sales in 2019, representing 60% (pouches) and 90% (jars/tubs) of volume sold.
Variety packages and private label brands were excluded. Pureed foods with toppings were also excluded because those are not available in pouches.
More than 90% of pouches, jars and tubs do not contain added sugar; those that do are mostly made with yogurt.
Without yogurt, only 2.4% (3 pouches, 2 jar/tubs) contained added sugar.
Per the 24 hour recall, the percentages of pouch users and non-users who consumed baby food fruits (54.3% vs. 50.4%) and vegetables (45% vs. 43.3%) in any packaging were similar.
Percentage of pureed baby foods with added sugar
Over 90% of pureed foods for infants and toddlers do not contain added sugar.
Packaging is not associated with added sugar.
Yogurt content predicts added sugar in baby foods.
Pureed foods for infants and toddlers rarely contain added sugars unless made with yogurt.