Shaping Early Palates
2019 Progress Report
PHA is partnering with early childhood educators, baby food manufacturers, and other key stakeholders to disrupt the marketplace and create options to help parents raise lifelong veggie lovers.
In the beginning of 2019, PHA welcomed its first baby food partner, Sprout Foods. Sprout joined a group of early childhood education partners on a mission to promote healthier habits among the youngest eaters, forming what would become the Shaping Early Palates initiative over the next year. Already, 100% of Sprout pouch puree products have no added sugar, and 53% have a vegetable as a first ingredient.
In July of 2019, PHA hosted a roundtable discussion with baby food manufacturers and public health experts around the importance of early palate development. Seth Goldman — the Co-Founder of Honest Tea, a company that developed a diluted apple juice product found in McDonald’s Happy Meals — spoke about how early exposure to less sweet drinks can inform long-term preferences. Roger Thurow, author of The First 1,000 Days, shared that the time between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday is critical for the immune system and brain development. Following this conversation, PHA spent 2019 recruiting partners from various early childhood-related sectors in order to re-imagine how nutrition can positively influence lifelong health outcomes starting with our youngest eaters.
84.4% of infants and toddlers consume foods with added sugars on any given day, and even those baby food products made with natural sugar from fruit can mask the bitter flavors of vegetables, reducing young children’s exposure to these flavors.
Bright Horizons Family Solutions
KinderCare Learning Companies
Learning Care Group