New! Chocolate Toddler Formula

| Tue Apr. 27, 2010 1:20 PM PDT

Worried your 18-month-old might not be getting enough chocolate? Luckily, now there's a solution. Over at Food Politics, Marion Nestle reports on Mead-Johnson's new chocolate and vanilla flavored formulas for toddlers. Nestle lists the main ingredients in the chocolate version:

  • Whole milk
  • Nonfat milk
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa
  • Galactooligosaccharides (prebiotic fiber)
  • High oleic sunflower oil
  • Maltodextrin

So what is toddler formula, anyway? Nutritionally, the unflavored version is pretty similar to whole milk, except with more calcium and phosphorous. There seems to be a consensus that after age one, kids don't really need formula at all, as long as they have a healthy solid-foods diet and are getting plenty of calcium. In 2007, Australian toddler-formula makers came under fire for aggressive marketing, including handing out samples to pregnant women.

The president of the Australian Lactation Consultants Association, Gwen Moody, said food should replace milk as the primary source of energy during a child's second year. "Mothers buy the formula and they also give their child cow's milk … so either the child doesn't eat because they're not hungry, or they do eat, which can lead to weight gain. It is very clever to develop a market for this age when a child should be eating solids."

Even cleverer to make the formula taste like Yoohoo (whose ingredients, by the way, are not all that dissimilar to chocolate toddler formula).

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