Kids Are Eating Too Many Food Pouches, Experts Say!
Parents and their little ones love baby food pouches and pre-pureed fruits and veggies seem like a smart way to get kids to eat more produce. The pouches are healthier than chips or cookies and we can keep them in the diaper bag, which makes them super convenient. So what’s the downside? They’re just not a replacement for real fruits and vegetables.
Baby food pouches make up 25% of the baby food market in the U.S., according to Nielsen’s Total Food View. The popular snacks are often made with trendy ingredients like Greek yogurt and kale and can get picky eaters to take in essential vitamins and nutrients, butDr. Robin Jacobson, a pediatrician, warns that they keep kids from learning how to eat different textures and how to chew foods.
“They don’t learn to eat a diet,” Jacobson explains. “They learn to drink a diet.”
Most pouches have “fruit juice concentrate” or “fruit puree” as the first ingredient, so they’re really sweet. And registered dietitian Jaclyn London, the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Director says that the sweet taste of pouches primes kids for trouble eating plain veggies later on. Plus, they’re not getting the fiber they would from eating actual fruits and vegetables.
But busy parents don’t have to just throw in the pouch. Experts say it’s best to stick to one pouch a day and save them for your busiest times to make it most convenient. And try to feed real food as often as possible so they get used to eating new foods and flavors.