Are Baby Food Pouches Healthy or Harmful?
One of the latest trends in baby food is the squeeze pouch. They’re easy to store or pop in your diaper bag, and many claim to include trendy health foods, like kale and quinoa.
When you’re introducing solids to your baby, spoon feeding pouch purees can be a good option. But between 6 and 9 months, your baby will be ready to move beyond pureed food, so it’s time to leave the pouches behind.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics has raised concerns. Find out why.
Pouches don’t teach healthy eating habits
Kids need to learn how real food looks, feels and tastes so they can grow up enjoying those healthy options in their regular state. Pureed veggies or other healthy foods hidden in a colorful pouch—with fruit added to disguise the taste—can mistakenly teach your child that wholesome food comes from a container.
Once your child is past the puree stage, help them develop healthy eating habits by swapping the pouch for fresh foods in their natural state. For the cost of just one pouch, you can buy a pound of carrots and a few bananas—enough real fruits and veggies for the whole family to enjoy!
Baby food pouches can lead to picky eaters
Be careful: Many pouches include fruit or juice that isn’t noted on the front of the package. And when your toddler’s veggies, meats and grains are sweetened with fruit, they're less likely to like the taste of these foods later.
Plus, sucking food through a pouch teaches your child to prefer smooth, liquidy food, so they might not accept the variety of textures found in fresh veggies, meat and grains.
In short, pouches can help create picky eaters.
Overusing pouches can affect your baby's health
- Some pouches have more sugar than whole fruit and are more likely to sit on your child’s teeth and gums, which can lead to tooth decay. Always read labels.
- Drinking food isn’t as satisfying as eating it. Your toddler won’t feel as full after they slurp from a pouch, which can lead to overeating.
- Drinking straight from the pouch means you never get a chance to see or smell the food your kids are eating. While reports of mold or other contaminants aren’t the norm, they have happened. Have peace of mind by seeing your child’s food before they eat it.