Bottle Backlash: Chocolate- and Vanilla-Flavored Formulas for Toddlers Under Fire
"The toddlers years can be particularly challenging since food preferences may be erratic and unpredictable," Mead Johnson spokesman Chris Perille tells the Times. "Products such as Enfagrow Premium can play a role in helping children achieve a more balanced, healthy daily diet."
However, some say giving kids sweet beverages at a young age could get them hooked on sugar.
A commenter on Momlogic.com writes, "What's next, genetically modifying moms to produce chocolate breast milk?"
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, criticizes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on her blog, arguing that the product is claiming health benefits for children younger than 2, the Times reports.
But FDA spokesman Michael Herndon says the product is considered a food -- not an infant formula -- under FDA guidelines. He also says the product only claims to "support" normal body functions, according to the Times.
Instead, Enfagrow is part of the "follow-on formula" category, which is basically formula for toddlers. It's been a lucrative business for Mead, which in 2009 made $900 million in sales from children's nutritional products -- mostly toddler milk -- according to the Times.
Instead of sweetened toddler milks, though, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents offer their children several healthy options and allow the kids to choose. The academy adds that dietary supplements are usually unnecessary for toddlers who eat a nutritious diet.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.