Baby & Toddler

Birth to two years is a critical period for developing healthy food preferences and eating habits. However, formula, baby, and toddler food manufacturers often market products that are not recommended by health experts (such as toddler milks and baby snacks) and promote them using claims and other marketing messages that do not correspond with expert advice about feeding young children.

A recent Rudd study from Drs. Fran Fleming-Milici and Jennifer Harris shows that 'countermarketing' videos are highly effective in reducing parents' intentions to serve sugary drinks to their children. These countermarketing videos were less successful to encourage parents' intentions to serve healthy drinks. "In previous studies, we found that parents were shocked at how marketing messages by fruit drink and toddler milk manufacturers tricked them to believe these products were healthy drinks for their young children," said Harris. "This research demonstrates that countermarketing messages aimed at parents will help offset companies' misleading marketing practices."

baby marketing, toddler food, food facts

Learn More About Baby & Toddler Food Marketing




Toddler Milks: Widely Marketed Sugary Drinks with No Proven Benefits: This handout explains what toddler milks are and what experts recommend when it comes to serving them to your children.

Healthy Drinks for Toddlers: The marketing of fruit drinks and toddler milks portrays these products as healthy drinks for toddlers, but they are sugary drinks. Check out this resource page, which includes resources that dispel the marketing hype, inform parents about why they are not recommended for young children, and encourage caregivers to “keep it simple, keep it real” by serving water and plain milk to their toddlers.

Healthy Eating Research Beverage Consensus Statement: Research shows that what children drink from birth through age five has a big impact on their health – both now and for years to come. The nation’s leading health organizations agree that for most kids, these recommendations can help to set children on a path for healthy growth and development.

Baby Food FACTS Report Summary:

Baby Food FACTS Report Summary (Spanish version):