Baby Food Labels May Be Tricking Parents -- Do You Know What to Look For?

If the front of a baby food package says you're buying a quinoa, leek and chicken puree, you'd expect that inside that package you're going to get quinoa, leeks, and chicken. Right? Right. But shockingly, that might not be exactly what you're getting -- the Center for Science in the Public Interest say that two major brands have been misleading customers about what's really in those baby food containers.

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The center alleges the biggest transgressions come from baby food brand Plum Organics, who have been marketing their products as having ingredients that don't actually make up very much of the product.

So, for example, the Quinoa & Leeks with Chicken + Tarragon baby pouch's biggest ingredient isn't quinoa, leeks, or chicken -- it's water. All that stuff is in there, but chicken and quinoa are sixth and seventh on the ingredients list, and leeks come in at ninth.

Since the FDA requires that products list ingredients in order of volume, the first ingredient is what makes up the most of the product. And for Plum, the Center reports that usually means something cheap, sugary, or both -- water and apple purees are the biggest culprits.

And Plum isn't the only brand doing this -- the CSPI reports it has also notified Gerber that it will be sued if they don't stop being deceptive in their marketing. In the letters, CSPI told these companies that the baby food packaging violates federal branding laws as well as several states' consumer protection laws.

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The whole thing has moms shaken up, and understandably so. If our bodies are temples, then our babies' bodies are brand spankin' new, not-yet-dirtied temples, and they should be treated that way. That means moms want to know exactly what they're putting in their baby's body.

Also, baby food is expensive! For protein and fiber, we're willing to pay 50 cents an ounce. But water and apple juice? Not so much.

While the CSPI waits for manufacturers to respond to its lawsuit threat, the group recommends that moms pay extra close attention to the ingredients in the food they buy for babies (and toddlers, too -- CSPI found the same problems with the packaging on toddler food too). 

Any product that doesn't seem to match with its ingredients probably isn't a good buy for your wallet OR your baby's nutrition.

Have you ever bought food from these brands? Do you think the packaging is misleading?

 

Image © iStock.com/onebluelight

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