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Chocolate Baby Drink Pulled from Shelves

Last month, we told you about nutritionists’ concerns over chocolate-flavored baby food. Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. introduced the flavored beverages for toddlers who are transitioning from infant formula or breast milk. The chocolate and vanilla formulas are milk-based, but contain 19 grams of sugar per seven-ounce serving.

The uproar over the sugar content and some allegedly unproven health claims has not fallen on deaf ears.

Mead Johnson has decided to pull its chocolate-flavored product, which was considered the worst offender with 19 grams of sugar. But Mead Johnson spokesman Chris Perille seemed to not fully admit to the problem, referring to “the whole emotional evocative nature of chocolate,” and that “It’s (chocolate) more associated with candy and sweets and things potentially not as beneficial.”

Sorry, but it’s not about word association, it’s about nutritional facts.

But the company is still intending to sell its vanilla-flavored Enfagrow, which has just a couple grams less than the chocolate at 16 to 17 grams of sugar overall. There are also three other unflavored versions of the drink with 10 to 11 grams of sugar, which target “picky eaters” for nutritional supplementation.

But nutritionists are not buying it.

You want kids to be interested in eating a very, very wide range of foods because variety helps create nutritional balance,” she said. “You don’t want them to think that every food needs to be sweet or salty.”

June 10th, 2010

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