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American toddlers are more likely to eat french fries than green vegetables on any given day, according to a new national survey on children’s eating habits.

Many young kids also go without any vegetables at all, the survey found.

One in four 6- to 11-month-olds and one in five 1-year-olds had no reported vegetable consumption at all on days they were surveyed, the researchers reported.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends vegetable consumption with every meal and snack,” said lead researcher Gandarvaka Miles, a doctoral candidate with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. “On two random days, parents didn’t report any vegetable consumption for these children.”

The survey also found that nearly three out of every five infants aren’t getting any breast milk at all.

These numbers are concerning because kids’ eating patterns develop at a young age, Miles said. Poor eating habits when young can put infants and toddlers on a road to continued poor nutrition into adulthood, she added.

“As we learn more about how dietary habits are established, we are seeing that even as early as infancy, breast milk consumption and consumption of fruits and vegetables can help lay the foundation for healthy eating habits,” Miles said.

She and her colleagues used data from 2005 to 2012 taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track health and diet trends among Americans.

In the survey, mothers were asked to provide a detailed description of what their children ate on two randomly chosen days, Miles said.

About 26 percent of 1-year-olds ate french fries the day before the survey, compared with 7.5 percent who ate dark green vegetables and about 17 percent who ate deep yellow vegetables, according to the results.

The survey also revealed a decline in consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables among…



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