Why Pureed Food Pouches Are Not a Good Idea for Young Children

A recent editorial (B Koletzko et al. JPGN 2018; 67: 561-3) explain why pureed fruit/food pouches can be detrimental for child health.  An easy-to-read editorial in NY Times discusses some of the same issues –Link: Rethinking Baby Food Pouches

Key points:

  • Pouches may interfere with learning to eat from a spoon.
  • Feeding infants “a variety of food textures and lumpy foods by spoon feeding and finger foods provides great opportunities for intensive reciprocal interaction between parent and infant”
  • These products generally have high energy density, high sugar content, and a very sweet taste and likely predispose towards bad food choices/selection as the child gets older.
  • Also, these food pouches may increase the risk of dental caries

Additional points from NY Times:

  • The popular pouches, introduced about a decade ago, now account for 25 percent of baby food sales in the United States, according to Nielsen’s Total Food View.
  • The features that make pouches so convenient, though — the smooth texture and squeeze packaging — have some experts concerned. They caution against relying on them too much, saying that they can be a gateway to bad long-term snacking habits and routine overeating
  • If given these pouches when irritable, children also run the risk of learning to associate sweet snacks with calming down, and to think of snacking in general as an activity to satisfy emotional rather than physiological needs.
  • “Feeding is truly a developmental process, just like learning to crawl, walk, run. We would never do anything to keep a child from crawling,” Ms. [Melanie] Potock [a feeding specialist] said. “Let’s not do anything that would stall them in the development of eating.”

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