HealthBuzz: Salmonella Concerns Prompt a Nestle Recall

Children's cereal: Healthy start or junk food? Plus, examining your pediatrician's feeding advice

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Nestle Voluntarily Recalls Batches of its Chocolatey Drink, Citing Salmonella Concerns

Nestle's Nesquik: a chocolate powder that, combined with milk, becomes a sweet drink for kids, complete with a cartoon spokesbunny. On Thursday, however, Nestle USA announced that it's voluntarily recalling the chocolate powder due to salmonella concerns. Nestle made the decision after Omya Inc., a supplier of the Nesquik ingredient calcium carbonate, told Nestle of a potential salmonella contamination, reports CBS News. The potentially tainted batches were produced last month and sold nationwide. The recall is limited to 10.9, 21.8, and 40.7-ounce canisters; consumers should examine these for October 2014 expiration dates. Salmonella is bacteria that may cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, but so far, no Nesquik-related illnesses have been reported. The Los Angeles Times shares Nestle's statement on the recall: "We apologize to our consumers and sincerely regret any inconvenience created by this incident."

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  • Children's Cereal: Healthy Start or Junk Food?

    Imagine you are 5 years old, writes U.S. News reporter Rachel Pomerance. In the supermarket cereal aisle. Towering above you are rows upon rows of cardboard boxes, brightly colored like construction paper, and emblazoned with your favorite mascots or silly characters that seem to hug you from their perch on the shelves. Sure, there are some understated choices—the simple yellow Cheerios box, offering up a bowl of mutely-colored rings. But remember, you're 5. You're more likely drawn to the rainbow of fun featured on the Fruity Pebbles package. Not only does this cereal come techicolored, but it's got Fred Flintstone on the box. You wish you could go barefoot and drive a car with your feet ... you tug at your mom and begin begging: "Please, please, please, can we get Fruity Pebbles?!!"

    Pebbles (the fruity and cocoa versions) was ranked the least nutritious cereal in a recent report by Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity that lambasted cereal companies for peddling their poorest choices to kids.

    Yale decided to check up on the food industry's plan to police itself—the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Formed in 2006, the initiative called for promoting healthy foods and lifestyles to kids. Two years later, Yale studied the cereal market and reviewed the landscape last year. The first report found that companies were "doing zero marketing of their healthiest cereals," to kids, says Kelly Brownell, a Yale University professor of psychology who directs the Rudd Center. Today, "the number is still zero," and, furthermore, "they're doing aggressive marketing of their least healthy foods. [Read more: Children's Cereal: Healthy Start or Junk Food?]

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    • Examining Your Pediatrician's Feeding Advice

      Few medical specialists are asked to dispense as much nutrition-related advice as pediatricians, whose guidance is often taken as gospel by nervous, first-time parents. Unfortunately, future pediatricians receive no more nutrition training in medical school than their peers heading into other specialties. And most doctors freely admit that such nutrition education rarely accounts for more than one day among their four years of formal study, writes U.S. News blogger Tamara Duker Freuman.

      It probably shouldn't surprise you then that even your fabulous, competent, and well-meaning pediatrician may be prone to dispensing some feeding advice that isn't accurate, up-to-date, or evidence-based. I've heard my fair share of doozies; among them are these four common kinds of flawed feeding advice that originated from otherwise terrific pediatricians.

      1. Dispensing formula-feeding advice for infants who are exclusively breast-fed: While formula-fed infants can often be fed on a schedule early on, exclusively breast-fed infants generally need to feed on demand—particularly for the first few months, until they become more efficient nursers. Because mom's milk supply varies by time of day, and the composition of her milk varies according to how long her baby has been nursing on a given breast in a given session, the child's caloric intake can vary from feeding to feeding. In a newborn, this can mean breast-feeding as often as every hour and a half to two hours; this is known as "cluster feeding" and often happens in the evenings. [Read more: Examining Your Pediatrician's Feeding Advice]