Baby & Toddler
Birth to two years is a critical period for developing healthy food preferences and eating habits. However, formula and baby 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. "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."
Learn More About Baby & Toddler Food Marketing
- Harris, J. L., Phaneuf, L., & Fleming-Milici, F. (2022). Effects of sugary drink countermarketing videos on caregivers’ attitudes and intentions to serve fruit drinks and toddler milks to young children. American Journal of Public Health, 112(S8). https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2022.30702
- Gershman, H., Romo-Palafox, M. J., Rajeh, T., Fleming-Milici, F., & Harris, J. L. Exploring infant caregivers’ provision of modified formulas: Potential demographic differences and reasons for provisions. Frontiers in Nutrition, 955.
- Fleming-Milici, F., Phaneuf, L., & Harris, J. L. (2022). Marketing of sugar‐sweetened children's drinks and parents' misperceptions about benefits for young children. Maternal & Child Nutrition, e13338.
- Beckman & Harris (2021). Understanding individual and socio-cultural factors associated with hispanic parents’ provision of sugar-sweetened beverages to young children. Appetite, published online.
- Romo-Palafox MJ, Harris JL. (2021). Caregiver's Provision of Non-Recommended Commercially Prepared Milk-Based Drinks to Infants and Toddlers. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2021;53(8):643-653.
- Choi, Y-Y, Ludwig, A., Andreyeva T. & Harris, J.L. (2020). Effects of US WIC infant formula contracts on brand sales of infant formula and toddler milks. Journal of Public Health Policy, in press.
- Pomeranz, JL & Harris, J.L. (2020). Children’s fruit “juice” drinks and FDA regulations: Opportunities to increase transparency and support public health. American Journal of Public Health, in press.
- Harris JL, Pomeranz JL. (2020). Toddler Drink Marketing: Opportunities to Address Harmful Practices. Healthy Eating Research, published online.
- Choi Y, Ludwig A, Harris J. (2020). US toddler milk sales and associations with marketing practices. Public Health Nutrition, published online.
- Harris J, Pomeranz J. (2020). Infant formula and toddler milk marketing: opportunities to address harmful practices and improve young children's diets. Nutrition Reviews, published online.
- Pomeranz JL, Harris JL. (2020). Federal Regulation of Infant and Toddler Food and Drink Marketing and Labeling. American Journal of Law and Medicine
- Romo-Palafox MJ, Pomeranz JL, Harris JL. (2020). Infant formula and toddler milk marketing and caregiver’s provision to young children. Matern Child Nutr. 2020;16(3):e12962.
- Romo-Palafox, M., Gershman H., Pomeranz, J., Harris, J. (2019). Marketing claims on infant formula and toddler milk packages: What do caregivers think they mean?. Rudd Brief.
- Baby Food FACTS. Nutrition and marketing of baby and toddler food and drinks. FACTS Report. November 2016.
- Pomeranz, J.L., Romo-Palafox, M.J., & Harris, J.L. (2018). Toddler drinks, formulas, and milks: Labeling practices and policy implications. Preventive Medicine, published online.
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):