Hero baby food uk
Baby & Toddler Food | Hero Group
Baby & Toddler Food
We are proud to have fed babies all over the world for generations. Our baby food portfolio consists of a wide range of brands and products.
Our local brands have a long history of offering consumers the best in class nutrition and always respecting the goodness of the natural ingredients. This is why we work with the best natural ingredients and do not add artificial preservatives. We strive to always encourage the love of good food and live up to the trust our consumers put in us.
Hero Institute for Infant Nutrition
Our baby and toddler food and milk products are developed and produced in association with the Hero Institute for Infant Nutrition and our own Scientific Advisory Board comprised of internationally renowned pediatricians and nutritionists.
Baby & Toddler Food brand overview
We offer a variety of baby and toddler food and snacks in countless markets under different brand names. Find out more below.
Hero Baby was founded in Spain in 1985 and is our brand for baby and toddler food and milks. All our Hero Baby products are developed with the support of our Hero Institute for Infant Nutrition. Today, these products are sold in several countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, China, Luxembourg, Turkey, Egypt, the Gulf states, and various other export countries.
For more information, please visit:
Hero Baby (Spain)
Hero Baby (Netherlands)
Hero Baby (MEA)
Hero Baby (Turkey)
Semper is the leading baby food brand in Sweden, enjoying a strong reputation based on the experience the company has gained since its founding in 1938. Semper also enjoys a strong position within baby nutrition in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and the Baltic countries. Semper is now also available in China and Russia.
Our US-based baby food brand Beech-Nut strives to inspire a lifelong love of good food. The range of Beech-Nut naturals was developed with the aspiration to provide consumers with products that are the closest to homemade as possible, and are therefore made from premium ingredients cooked in a gentle way to keep the color and taste of the natural ingredients we use – just fruit and vegetables without any artificial preservatives. Beech-Nut doesn’t offer baby food, but food for babies.
Organix works to fulfill its mission that good food should be a choice for everyone. This organic baby food brand was founded in 1992 in the UK and has become a highly appreciated organic brand for consumers who appreciate the philosophy, products, and social engagement of the brand. The No Junk Promise is our commitment to use just natural ingredients in all our Organix products.
Organix (Switzerland DE)
Organix (Switzerland FR)
At Freche Freunde, life is all about having fun and encouraging little ones to become the biggest fruit and veg fans. The Berlin-based startup offers a broad range of yummy organic snacks for babies and toddlers.
Freche Freunde (Germany)
Freche Freunde (Switzerland)
Baby Gourmet is Canada’s leading brand of organic baby food, specializing in nutritious and delicious packaged food for babies and toddlers. Co-founded in 2005 by sisters Jen and Jill, Baby Gourmet began with a desire to help parents by offering delicious organic food they could feel good feeding their babies. Today, nearly 20 years later, Baby Gourmet is now a household name for busy families across the country, and Jen and Jill’s desire to help parents and babies on their food journey has remained just as clear. They develop every product and never compromise on quality or taste, using only the very best ingredients.
Baby Gourmet (Canada)
Most Czech and Slovakian babies grow up with Sunar, a traditional leading infant milk brand that also offers different baby food under their Sunarka and Sunarek brands.
Sunar (Czech Rep)
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Browse our wide range of baby food: biscuits, formula, cereal. .. MiFarma provides your baby with the healthiest food at low prices. Shop now!
There is a severe shortage of powdered infant formula in America
The situation with infant formula has become so critical that Senator Tom Cotton has already called it a "national crisis", Congress began an investigation, and President Biden was forced to announce measures to curb the deficit. nine0005 Photo: wikipedia.org.
Deliveries of infant formula to stores have been so reduced that large retail chains and pharmacies are forced to limit the number of cans "in one hand." For example, CVS and Walgreens only sell three packages of dry mix at a time. According to Datasembly, a company that tracks price indexes and sales of various products, in the first week of May, the lack of milk formula in warehouses across the country was 43% (for comparison, in April - 40%, and in November last year - 11%). Worst of all is the situation with warehouses in the states of Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee. Accordingly, prices rose sharply - by 18%. On eBay, some savvy sellers offer a $200 can of powdered formula, and there are sure to be buyers: in the US, three-quarters of children receive either full or partial formula in their first six months of life. Worst of all are those families whose children, for medical reasons, cannot eat anything other than these mixtures. nine0005
Abbott fights bacteria
What caused this crisis? The official version, which we already wrote about: in February, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that certain mixtures of Similac (Similac), Alimentum (Alimentum) and EleCare (EleCare) are contaminated with the dangerous bacterium Cronobacter sakazakii, which can lead to death. Four kids were hospitalized, two died. Abbott Nutrition has announced a voluntary recall of some batches of this baby food that was produced at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan (these powdered formulas were found to be contaminated). In early March, several more dry mixes produced at the same plant were recalled due to Salmonella contamination. nine0005
Bacteria in baby food is not uncommon. Back in 2004, the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFA) of the World Health Organization revised the International Code of Hygienic Practice for Foods for Infants and Older Children, tightening the requirements, including due to cases of contamination of mixtures with bacteria. A review of Abbott's records shows that the company has had to destroy batches of premixed formulas in the past due to the presence of Cronobacter. In addition, in February, the FDA emphasized that the recall only applies to dry powder from certain batches, and does not apply to liquid infant formula and other baby foods manufactured by Abbott Nutrition. In other words, it is hard to imagine that a temporary shutdown of the production line of several (!) dry mixes at one plant can lead to such a large-scale national crisis. Not to mention the fact that other manufacturing companies were not affected by the recall, and they continue to produce their products. nine0005
Furthermore, the company's official statement dated May 11 states: “After a close examination of the situation, there is no evidence that these cases [infant deaths - Ed.] are related to the consumption of our baby food; the bacterium Cronobacter sakazakii, which was found during testing, was in areas not in contact with products. The bacterial samples found at the plant did not match the strains found in the babies' tests. An Abbott spokesperson also said that all products tested for Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella were negative and that no Salmonella was found at the Sturgis facility during the investigation. nine0005
However, the FDA insisted that infant formula was produced in unsanitary conditions, and Abbott's internal records showed that the company destroyed some of its products due to bacteria in the factory. On May 16, Abbot reached an agreement with the FDA that allowed the production lines to restart. The company reportedly acknowledged the unsanitary conditions at the plant and is committed to rectifying the shortcomings. In addition, Abbott has agreed to engage external experts who will develop a plan to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination at the plant and conduct periodic assessments to ensure the company is in compliance. In the event that any products again test positive for bacteria, the company will be required to dispose of them and stop work until the source of infection is eliminated. If Abbott does not comply, it faces $30,000 in damages per day of violation (up to $5 million in annual fines). The terms of the agreement are valid for at least 5 years. nine0005
FDA chief Robert Kaliff stated, "The public can be assured that our FDA will do everything possible to ensure that baby food continues to meet safety and quality standards." The agreement between Abbott and the FDA has been approved by the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan. However, it’s too early for parents to rejoice: Abbot said that a restart is possible within two weeks, and mixtures will appear on store shelves no earlier than in 6-8 weeks.
Broken logistics and monopolies
Another reason that is less talked about is disruptions in the supply chain. Everything affects: a critical shortage of labor (which we have already written about more than once), problems with the production of packaging and transportation. All this together affects the production and distribution of goods. According to Datasembly CEO Ben Reich, "the economic situation affects this category of goods more than others."
The crisis has reached such proportions that even the federal authorities were forced to react. On May 12, President Joe Biden met with representatives from Walmart, Target, Reckitt and Gerber to discuss ways to reduce the deficit. He also instructed the Federal Trade Commission to use its powers to monitor allegations of price gouging and the Justice Department to work with state attorneys general to crack down on retailers who took advantage of the situation. nine0005
On May 13, the House Oversight Committee announced that it had launched an investigation into the baby food situation. Letters were sent to all four manufacturers asking them to explain how they plan to handle the crisis and what they are doing to prevent this from happening in the future. In addition, the Committee will also investigate allegations received from consumers of price gouging. The meeting of the Committee on this issue is scheduled for May 26.
At the same time, the recall of goods for one reason or another is a common occurrence. Thousands of medicines and products are withdrawn from sale every year, and yet there is no nationwide crisis, and sellers do not restrict the sale of essential items in the spirit of Soviet trade. nine0005
Four large companies now control 90% of America's supply of infant formula: Abbott, Mead Johnson, Gerber and Perrigo Nutritionals. Abbott, which makes Similac, and Mead Johnson, which makes Enfamil, have nearly 80% of the market. Mead Johnson has already stated, “We have taken steps to ramp up production of Enfamil and are currently shipping 50% more products to address consumer concerns as quickly as possible.” Considering how the prices for dry mixes have risen, the crisis is beneficial for all manufacturing companies. nine0005
Importing baby food will be easier
Another factor in the crisis is America's regulatory and trade policies. The FDA regulation of infant formula is so strict that most products coming from Europe cannot be bought here due to technical issues such as labeling requirements. There is no question about the quality of European blends: studies have shown that in some respects they can even be better than American ones, because the European Union bans certain types of sugar (for example, corn syrup). The US also restricts the import of formulas that comply with FDA regulations. For large volumes, the import tax for mixtures can exceed 17%. Currently up to 98% of the baby food on the market is made in the USA. And during a crisis, the lack of alternative supplies becomes a rather big problem.
Therefore, for the first time, an unprecedented step is announced - the US intends to increase imports of infant formula in order to reduce the nationwide shortage. Potential importers in the FDA are manufacturers from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the Netherlands. On May 16, the FDA called on foreign manufacturers to apply to import their products into the United States. It is reported (however, without going into details) that the verification process will be "optimized". White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that "priority will be given to applications from those companies most likely to be able to prove product quality and be able to get the most baby food to American stores as quickly as possible." Thus, the advantage will be given to large manufacturing companies, which will be able to quickly cover the shortage that has arisen. nine0005
However, even if import applications and related documentation confirming the safety of mixtures are submitted, relatively speaking, tomorrow, it may be weeks before the products reach the stores. Once the application is filed, the FDA will still need to review the baby food to ensure quality control to American standards. The import facilitation policy was adopted as a temporary measure for the next six months.
In the meantime, parents of babies rush about in search of baby food, politicians from all sides have decided to use the crisis to their advantage. So, Republican Congresswoman Kat Cammack posted a video on her Facebook account about how the federal authorities send packages of baby food to the border with Mexico: “American stores have empty shelves, there is no shortage at the border. ” Cammack said the Biden administration should not put the needs of illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American citizens. Another Republican politician, Rep. Eliza Stefanik, also said it was "absolutely unacceptable" and drew a parallel with Trump's famous slogan, "America continues to be put last." In turn, Democratic politicians Eric Svolvell and Ruben Gallego accused Eliza of wanting to "starve babies" in border centers where illegal immigrants are detained. nine0005
Only one thing can be said with certainty: even with the increase in production and the green light for imports, the situation with the shortage of infant formula will not change in the next couple of weeks.
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what not to feed a child on a regular basis
Food labels “suitable from 4 months”, “fortified with vitamins”, “promotes growth” make you think that this is the ideal food for children.
And if we want a child to be healthy and develop normally, then it is better to buy products from the shelves of children's stores, and in restaurants and cafes choose food from the children's menu. But in most cases, it's all just marketing.
We understand that feeding a child broccoli and healthy white fish can be difficult, and if he only asks for corn flakes for breakfast, then it is easier for him to give them and avoid tantrums. This does not make you a bad parent. nine0005
I'll tell you why "baby" products can be dangerous.
Go see a doctor
Our articles are written with love for evidence-based medicine. We refer to authoritative sources and go to doctors with a good reputation for comments. But remember: the responsibility for your health lies with you and your doctor. We don't write prescriptions, we make recommendations. Relying on our point of view or not is up to you.
Cereals and corn flakes
Even if cereals contain iron, make the child smart and active, do not overdo it. nine0005
Breakfast products advertised for children contain 3 times more sugar than those advertised for adults: Spanish study
They are actually high in sugar and low in nutrients. This can lead to an unbalanced menu, when there are few macro and microelements important for the development and maintenance of health, and a lot of calories, sugar and salt.
For example, a 30-gram serving of Nestlé breakfast cereal contains about 14 g of sugar. Most often, we do not measure portions with the help of scales, but pour "by eye" - there can be more sugar. For a preschooler, this amount of sugar is the daily norm. nine0005
This limit includes all added sugars in any form and with any name. Corn syrup, dextrose, coconut sugar, honey, Jerusalem artichoke syrup and agave nectar are also free sugars that WHO recommends limiting in the diet.
How to calculate sugar in foods: 61 sugars
Allowable amount of free sugars in a child's diet
|Age||How much sugar can you have per day|
|4-6 years||19 g or 5 teaspoons|
|7-10 years||24 g or 6 teaspoons|
|over 11 years old||30 g or 7 teaspoons|
How much sugar can be
4-6 years old
19 g, or 5 teaspoons
24 g, or 6 teaspoons
30 g or 7 teaspoons
WHO and the American Heart Association recommend eliminating all added sugar up to 2 years, and the UK Department of Health up to 4 years.
Breakfast alone can contain a daily amount of sugar, but in addition to breakfast, there are other meals, inconspicuous snacks, desserts and juice. It turns out to be an overkill.
If you regularly exceed the sugar norm, this can lead to unpleasant consequences:
- type 2 diabetes mellitus; nine0010
- cardiovascular disease;
- nutrients will be less absorbed.
And the passion for sugar changes the perception of tastes: the usual kiwi or peach seems not sweet enough, and sugary biscuits are just right. This can force other foods out of the diet.
All the health benefits of breakfast cereal are in the flour from which the balls or pillows are made. That is, ordinary cereals were cleaned of the shell - the most valuable element of the grain, ground into flour, added sugar in several forms, butter, starch and additional ingredients to improve taste and texture. To compensate for the loss of vitamins and trace elements that were removed along with the grain shell, the product can be enriched with vitamins and minerals. But this is not always done. nine0005
The main thing is variety: a ready-made menu for the average Russian
If we gave children ordinary cereals, then there would be more fiber - food for beneficial bacteria in the intestines, that same vitamin B, with with which the manufacturer promised to increase the ingenuity of consumers, other important trace elements and there would be no added sugar.
The Russian Union of Pediatricians notes that juices contain few vitamins and minerals, but a lot of sugar, so they should not be offered before 12 months. The habit of drinking juices can increase the risk of tooth decay and obesity. nine0005
The WHO, European and American Societies of Pediatrics do not recommend giving free sugars to children under 2 years of age. And juice is one of their forms. If fiber is removed from the product, but only juice or its concentrate is left, then the product goes into the section of free sugars - “free” from fiber. That is, any juice - even marked "without sugar" - is still a variant of sugar.
Whole fruits should not be limited in the diet: it is almost impossible to get an excess of sugars from them, but from juices it is easy. For example, it takes me four oranges to make a glass of freshly squeezed juice. A child will drink such a glass in one minute and ask for more. But if I cut these four oranges, he will manage two at best. At the same time, the child will receive fiber, vitamins, minerals and a bonus in the form of training the jaw apparatus. nine0005
A glass of freshly squeezed juice may be in the diet of a child over 7 years of age. Until this age, pediatric organizations recommend giving juices occasionally and diluting with water in a ratio of 1:1.
Unicef - what to feed a baby up to 1 year old
A package of baby juice can contain up to 6 tablespoons of free sugars, absolutely no fiber and a dubious amount of vitamins, because almost all of them are destroyed during the production process. And a whole apple contains 5 g of fiber - that's 20% of the daily value for adults, 9mg magnesium and 0 g free sugars.
Juice consumption is associated with excess weight: Harvard Medical School
Dairy products for children
By itself, milk, kefir and ryazhenka are essential foods in the diet. From them, children get calcium, protein, various microelements, and from fermented milk products they also get beneficial bacteria.
But now, baby dairy products are not always a good option, despite the labels "from 6 months" on the packages. The point here is not in the milk itself and its derivatives, but again in exceeding the safe norms of sugar with the regular use of such products. nine0005
Nutrition for 1-3 year olds: guidelines from the Union of Pediatricians of Russia
Dairy guidelines: American Pediatric Association
WHO recommends 2-3 servings of dairy per day: each serving is the size of a child's fist. For example, it can be 100 ml of kefir or a jar of non-drinkable yogurt 120 g.
But if you put 1-3 teaspoons of sugar in each of them, as manufacturers of children's yogurts do, you get a search by the norm of sugars with all the ensuing consequences for health . In addition, we can form the wrong taste preferences: after the “strawberry flavored” option, ordinary fermented baked milk may seem insipid to the child and he will refuse it. Therefore, it will be more useful to give ryazhenka without additives and put a couple of berries in it for taste. nine0005
"Children's menu" in restaurants and cafes
Most often, the children's menu offers french fries, sausages, nuggets and dumplings. It seems that this is a variant of a normal lunch for children.
Almost all of these products are ultra-processed. That is, those in which there are almost no nutrients, but there are a large number of flavor enhancers and preservatives: salt, sugar and fats. Yes, they affect our receptors and such food seems tasty, but there is very little nutritional value in it. nine0005 This is the children's menu on the website of the family cafe. The paper version also offers sausages with pasta
There is a connection between the regular consumption of ultra-processed food and lipid metabolism disorders in children. In the future, this can lead to atherosclerosis and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. And also to an imbalance in nutrition, metabolic disorders and obesity.
Study on the association of frequent consumption of fast food and obesity in children
Scientific review on the impact of fast food on children's health
Ultra-processed foods can be included in the diet of adults and children, but as an addition to the main balanced diet, not as a replacement for it.
If you feed this food daily, then the children form the idea that this is a normal food option. Then why eat broccoli and shrimp on another day? Food with an adequate level of nutritional value can be forced out of the diet, and this is fraught with a deficiency of essential substances.
Therefore, when looking at the menu with your child, it is important to draw his attention to the fact that nuggets and fries are more of an addition to the main course, and if you need to satisfy your hunger, then it is better to choose alternatives with a higher nutritional value. And be prepared for the question "If this is not children's food, then why is it on the children's menu?". nine0005
Going to a cafe with your family and not going broke: 7 Moscow restaurants with a free children's menu child, because it is sold in a pharmacy. It is also much healthier than candy because it contains iron. The same applies to ascorbic acid in dragee format: vitamin C in a "candy" package is just a godsend for parents who want to strengthen their child's immunity. nine0005
A 50 g hematogen bar contains about 5 g of iron and 30-40 g of sugar. For comparison: the same amount of iron in 25 g of stewed liver, 30 g of sesame seeds, 12 tablespoons of boiled lentils or 150 g of beef steak. Moreover, these products do not contain added sugar.
One dragee of ascorbic acid weighing 2.9 g contains 2.8 g of sugar, and ascorbic acid itself is only 25 mg - 112 times less than sugar. The same amount can be obtained from 50 g of bell pepper or half a kiwi.
If you do not live in conditions of total food shortage, then the child does not need either hematogen or ascorbic acid. They may be optional, as a dessert, but not as a necessary means to maintain health. nine0005
No Sugar or Carbs: 6 Healthy Eating Myths
- Baby food is not a set of products with cartoon characters on the packaging and the words “from 6 months”.
- Children's diet is the usual food groups: vegetables, fruits, cereals, dairy products, sources of protein and moderate amounts of fats, among which unsaturated fats are preferred. Minimum salt, moderate amount of sugar.
- Products targeted at children often contain too many free sugars, but this is not always clear from looking at the front of the package.