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Seafood inclusion ion early years' feeding: a comparison of commercial products to home-cooking

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Sharon Ann Carstairs, Debbi Marais, Leone Craig, Kirsty Kiezebrink

School/Research organisations


Background and Aims Under-exposure to seafood during early years feeding, when taste and food acceptance is developed, may impact on the future development of a healthy diet. The aim of this study was to investigate the inclusion of seafood in commercial baby food products and baby and toddler cookbooks, and the occurrence of beneficiary and cautionary information on seafood in the cookbooks.
Methods A survey was conducted of all commercial pre-prepared baby food main-meal products in Scotland from September-December 2012. The primary food type within each product, (vegetables, poultry, meat, and seafood), nutritional composition, and ingredient contribution were collected. A survey of Amazon’s top 20 best-selling baby and toddler cookbooks was conducted in June 2013. The types and varieties of the different food types cited in addition to recipes, beneficiary claims and cautionary information was recorded.
Results Seafood (n=13 (3.8%)) was significantly underrepresented as a main-meal product compared to poultry (103 (30.2%)), meat (121 (35.5%)) and vegetables (104 (30.5%)). Similarly, seafood-based main-meal recipes were significantly lower than vegetable recipes however were not significantly different to poultry and meat recipes. Cautionary claims in the cookbooks were significantly higher for seafood than other food types.
Conclusions Parents who predominantly wean their infant using commercial products are may face challenges in sourcing a suitable range of products to enable the inclusion of seafood. Parents who predominantly home-cook have greater exposure to seafood in recipes however, this may be counteracted by the prominence of negative seafood messages, deterring them from including this healthful food into the diet of their infant.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
EventSecond International Conference on Nutrition and Growth - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 30 Jan 20141 Feb 2014


ConferenceSecond International Conference on Nutrition and Growth

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