Early Childhood Nutrition



11am CT - Early Childhood Nutrition  

Introduction from our chair, Elizabeth Crawford, Deputy Editor, FoodNavigator-USA.com.

The first installment of the interactive broadcast series kicked off with a presentation from Ella Daniels, Lead, Veggies Early & Often at Partnership for a Healthier America.

Ella presented on: Think kids can’t love vegetables? Think again!

The role of the food industry to raise a generation of veggie lovers. 

Currently, only 10% of children consume the daily recommended amounts of vegetables, but Partnership for a Healthier America’s new Veggies Early & Often education campaign is hoping to change that by teaming with industry, health professionals and early childhood education experts to “raise a generation of veggie lovers.” During this keynote session, PHA’s Shaping Early Palates Initiative led Ella shared the campaign’s goals, why they are necessary, who is involved and the fast progress they are making together.

This presentation invited attendees to consider how the baby and toddler food marketplace has changed as a result of the international scientific and policy consensus around the first 1,000 days, and how the road to deliver product profiles that parents and caregivers want and are expecting is paved with transparency and innovation.

Key Takeaways:

  • How early childhood is a critical period for the development of taste preferences and dietary patterns and a uniquely opportune time to cultivate vegetable acceptance
  • How parents and caregiver efforts to raise veggie lovers can either be supported or hampered by the offerings in the baby and toddler food marketplace
  • How companies can be part of a research-based movement to transform the food landscape for your nation's youngest eaters through a veggie-forward approach

In conversation with FoodNavigator-USA’s deputy editor Elizabeth Crawford , Ella also shared how the campaign is reshaping the children’s food industry, the business opportunities it is creating and what other stakeholders can do to advance the cause of healthy childhood nutrition.

The session continued with a presentation by Toni Farinella , Segment Lead, Early Life Nutrition & Nutrition Improvement, DSM North America on Bringing Up Baby: Moms’ evolving perceptions about nutrition during the first 1,000 days

New proprietary consumer research is uncovering moms’ attitudes and behaviors toward nutrition and feeding during the first 1,000 days - and importantly, how these have evolved in recent years. Compelling new insights will focus on key topics like perceptions about their children's health and development, mealtime and snacking behaviors, preferences about fortification, and innovation opportunities in packaged foods and supplementation. Not surprisingly, there is still much confusion around the benefits of key ingredients and a desire to learn more to provide children the best nutrition possible for healthy growth and development. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The biggest health and development concerns for today’s moms
  • Top influencers for infant and toddlers’ health, feeding and development needs
  • Key considerations and insights about usage, behavior and buying habits
  • Innovation and growth opportunities for food & beverage and supplements brands

The session continued with a fireside chat between Sarah Smith-Simpson , Principal Scientist, Child Development and Feeding, Nestlé Gerber and FoodNavigator-USA’s deputy editor Elizabeth Crawford on Filling in the blanks – Helping parents decode nutrition guidance & provide a balanced diet

New parents are inundated with information about what they should and shouldn’t feed their children – but not all of it is easily digestible or reliable. So, where can parents turn for trusted, accurate information? And how can they consistently meet their children’s nutritional needs given all the competing priorities they must balance?

In this fireside chat, Sarah, walked attendees through frequently asked questions from parents about feeding babies and toddlers, where they are looking for answers and what it takes to earn their trust. She also shines a light on key nutrients, like iron, omega-3s and probiotics. And finally, she shared how Nestlé and Gerber are helping caregivers meet children’s nutritional needs while also balancing other obligations and priorities that come with parenting and life in general.

The session continued with a conversation on Parenting 101: From prenatal vitamins to first bites – How are parents feeding their children?

Three moms shared their experiences feeding their children during the first 1,000 days – including how they approached nutrition while pregnant, challenges in breastfeeding, selecting formula, introducing solids and navigating allergens. They also shared their biggest pain points and wish-lists.

Joining FoodNavigator-USA’s deputy editor Elizabeth Crawford will be Raakhi Agrawal , Karen Gardner , Mary Jane Peck

Finally, the session ended with a panel discussion with industry experts on Laying a foundation for healthy brains, bodies and diets in the first 1,000 days

Research shows that the diet of pregnant women and children under the age of 2 years can have a powerful impact on children’s brain development and future health. But fully seizing this opportunity will require public health advocates, food manufacturers and caregivers to work together. In this panel we dived into the details of 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which for the first time included recommendations for the first 1,000 days of life, and recommendations for introducing potential allergens early with the hope of staving off reactions later in the life. Registered dietitians, medical experts and leaders in the infant formula and baby & toddler food segments breakdown what is in the guidance and what it takes to meet the new standards. They also shared how they are pushing the food industry forward to ensure healthy future generations.