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The Mediterranean diet for Polish infants: a losing struggle or a battle still worth fighting?


The Mediterranean diet is well known for its health-promoting effects. Among its key ingredients, olive oil is the most characteristic. Processing industries have been successfully manufacturing and marketing jarred baby foods with the use of vegetable oils, including olive oil, as well as other sources of visible fat. We aimed to survey manufacturer claims concerning added fat in jarred infant foods supplied to the Polish market. A total of 124 kinds of infant foods from six suppliers were analyzed. Corn, canola, and soybean oil occupied the first three positions, respectively, in rank order of vegetable oils used in jarred baby foods. In our sample, only one type of ready-to-eat jars with vegetables contained olive oil. 11% of products contained cow milk butter or cream. 61% of jarred “dinners” contained poultry or fish, which are typical sources of animal protein in the Mediterranean diet. Given that commercial baby foods currently available in the Polish market contain no olive oil, we advocate considering home preparation of infant foods with the use of visible fat. Medical professionals should encourage food manufacturers to return to the concepts of the Mediterranean diet for young consumers, aimed at long-term health.