Thursday, February 3, 2011

White Rice Cereal: Are American infants being conditioned towards a lifetime of bad eating habits?

Recently, The White out movement has been picking up steam. If you're anything like me, you may not have heard anything about this. What exactly is the White Out movement and how does it affect our children's health?

The White out movement was started by Dr. Greene, MD., to combat the rising trends of obesity, childhood obesity, and Type II Diabetes. Essentially, his hypothesis is that introducing infants to processed white rice cereal as a first "solid" food promotes a lifetime of craving for similar foods.

As a parent, I found it shocking that essentially I'm laying the groundwork for large corporations to market their processed foods to my son. Multiple studies have shown that lifelong food preferences are formed in early childhood; the Happy meal is marketed to the preschool crowd to produce cradle-to-grave McDonald's customers. Think to your own food preferences: when you need a comfort food what do you choose? Chances are it's something you ate as a child like macaroni and cheese, Hostess cupcakes, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. None of these foods are healthy options, leaving it small wonder why adults are facing so many diet-related health afflictions.

There's plenty of movement later in childhood for obesity prevention and damage control; school gardens, nutrition education, and farm to school programs are picking up steam as we look closer at what our children are being fed. It makes sense to address nutrition issues when children are becoming more and more autonomous. However, we should look to combat the issue earlier, when we as parents and caregivers have control over what we feed our children. Set them on the right path towards a healthy, successful, and full life by intervening at the earliest point you can!

So, what can you feed them as an alternative to white rice cereal? Some alternatives would be using a whole grain like oatmeal cereal or introducing mashed real foods, rather than a cereal mixture.
What are your thoughts on the White Out Campaign?

Update: 4/1/2016: The FDA is now getting involved:

1 comment:

  1. Takes a few years for the FDA