As with the rest of the Westernised world, Australia is also experiencing an unprecedented obesity epidemic, with around 21 per cent of two to three-year-olds classified as overweight or obese.
These shocking statistics have led to a study as to how the quantity and diversity of food and drinks consumed by toddlers informs their dietary choices later in life.
The study published in the latest issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, emphasised the importance of children aged 12-16 months being given a varied, nutrient dense diet.
It is at this age that they develop their long-term food preferences — and also the age that they start wanting to make their own food choices.
If they develop a preference for sweet treats — a completely unnecessary part of an infant’s diet — then they may continue to prefer sweets to a wide variety of nutritious foods as they age.
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