Over 90 per cent of 6–12-month-old infants and one in four toddlers aged 1-2 years receive inadequate iron based on their dietary intake.
Yet there are still those who deny the science of infant formula and toddler milk drinks, which when used appropriately, are healthy additions to children’s diets.
Of these infants one third only ever consumed breastmilk. Of the infants consuming breastmilk substitutes, 86% also breastfed.
Hamish Reid, Chair of the Infant Nutrition Council, stated: “..still there are those who deny the science of infant formula and toddler milk drinks, which when used appropriately, are healthy additions to children’s diets. Some are trying to restrict information available to parents about how to maintain a balanced diet for their infants and toddlers.”
Research reveals formula users feel judged
New research released today by the Infant Nutrition Council has revealed that half of all users of infant formula are feeling judged and shamed for their feeding choices.
Speaking at the conference, CEO of the Infant Nutrition Council Jan Carey said, “Breastfeeding is the best option for infants but there are many reasons why breastfeeding may not be possible. Breastfeeding also may not meet the nutritional requirements of older infants and toddlers. These parents have the right to access information about alternatives without feeling shamed or judged.
- 58% of parents said they feel pressure around making the right feeding choices. **
- 81% of parents said that they try to feed their children natural and healthy food but find that it’s not always easy.**
- Three quarters of parents said that would like all information about feeding options that are readily available to decide what’s best for their infant.**
- Just 6% of parents felt that marketing of toddler milk drinks would discourage breast feeding.**
The independent research was commissioned by The Infant Nutrition Council ahead of a summit on infant and toddler nutrition at Australian Parliament House on 23 June 2022.
The composition and circumstances of families are changing and many people now rely on infant formula as a supplement, such as mothers returning to work, parents and children with medical conditions, single parents and rainbow families.
Specifically, the number of single mothers with dependent children has increased by 17% and the number of same sex couples with children at home has increased by 371% over the last 10 years. Additionally, the number of families with both parents working has increased 30% in 2021 and 24% of two-parent families with children aged 0-4 years have both parents working full-time.***
Ms Carey concluded, We need to provide space for these voices in any debate about infant and toddler nutrition. We need to move with the times and support all parents to make choices that reflect their personal circumstances.”