Consumer group Choice has told parents they’re being sucked into buying unnecessary, expensive toddler formulas and junior milks.
The formulas, marketed to children over the age of one, cost $16 to $22 per tin — and the peak consumer group warns the use of such formulas and junion milks are unnecessary.
Choice says claims by Nestle that its NAN toddler milk supports toddler’s immune system, and claims by Aptamil junior millks that promise to “meet the dietary and energy needs of toddlers and children whose nutritional intake may not be adequate”, may not mean much in reality.
Professor Sandra Jones of the University of Wollongong, who specialises in marketing and health, says: ““These are just weasel words.”
“They don’t really mean anything, but they sound good,” she says.
Experts are also concerned the marketing be discouraging the healthy eating of solid foods, with Accredited Dietitian Dr Kellie Bilinski pointing out that children should be able to meet their nutritional requirements from eating a healthy diet.
“Formulas shouldn’t replace a healthy diet in children/toddlers,” she is quoted as saying on the Choice website.
“It’s a bit of marketing to parents who are concerned that their children’s diet may be inadequate,” she says.
Sydney GP Dr James Best told Choice adds that he sees many anxious parents who buy toddler and junior milks when they would be better off concentrating on helping their little ones develop better eating habits.
“These products claim to fill the gaps in your child’s diet, but the gaps simply don’t exist if they’re eating well,” he says.
“There is no such thing as ‘immunocare’” he adds.
“It simply doesn’t exist.”
Do you use toddler formulas or junior milks? Does Choice’s announcement concern you?