Infant and Toddler Forum Position Statement in response to coverage – World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) – processed meats

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has warned parents against giving children processed meats. The Infant & Toddler Forum, drivers of the Little People`s Plates initiative for healthier eating for the under threes, have the facts behind the headlines:

“Processed meats are nutritious foods containing a good source of iron which is often very low in toddlers diets, in fact one in eight UK toddlers are deficient in iron. As part of balanced nutritious family meals, quality processed meats are fine for the under threes a couple of times a week. On other days include fresh lean red meats, fish, chicken, hummus or eggs instead. A bigger problem for toddlers is too many salty and high fat snacks such as crisps, we’d urge parents to steer clear of these altogether.

“There is, in fact, little to no evidence that toddlers or children eating small amounts of processed meats will get cancer. The WCRF report showed only that adults who eat large amounts of processed meats every week are slightly more likely to get bowel cancer than those adults who only eat small amounts.”

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