For many parents, the disconnect between healthy aspirations and nutritional realities can be attributed to their children refusing to try or eat a wider variety of foods, their preference for sweets and ‘junk food,’ the taste of healthy foods and the cost of healthy food, revealed IFIC’s new survey “Knowledge, Understanding and Behaviors When Feeding Young Children.”​

The survey of 1,199 adults nationwide conducted by Dynata Dec. 12-Jan. 4 with support from Abbott also revealed even though caregivers may say they know what children should eat they struggle to keep track of what kids consume. Likewise, they may not understand the impact of certain categories of foods and beverages on their ultimate nutrition goals.

Information abounds and yet nutritional goals remain elusive

According to the survey, more than two-thirds of caregivers say they are extremely or very satisfied with available nutritional guidance for children and 85% say they know enough to make informed diets. Likewise, half say they know at least a fair amount about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and 64% say they always or often look at the Nutrition Facts label and 62% say they look at the ingredient deck.

As such, two-thirds say they are very or extremely confident their child receives the nutrition they need to grow and develop.

And yet, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans found most children do not consume the recommended amount of fruit, vegetables and whole grains and they consume too much added sugar, saturated fat and sodium.

This disconnect is “a reminder that translation from knowledge into practice is a challenging front, especially when facing the hurdles of feeding young children,”​ IFIC acknowledges.

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