The Pros and Cons of Baby Food Pouches

The Pros and Cons of Baby Food Pouches

Trying out solid foods for the first time is always an exciting time for babies. Even though babies are curious about trying semi-solid and solid foods, parents are not too crazy over the mess that goes together with babies and solid food.

There is also the concern over foods that are right for the child at that stage. Because of food technology though, there is another convenient form of baby food that is making a buzz in the industry—the baby food pouch.

Back in the day, parents made use of canned baby food, then glass jars were created, and now we have baby food in pouches. But are baby food pouches safe? Many often wonder.

It is not surprising that there are parents who are wary of this recent baby food pouch trend. Lots of parents wonder what is exactly inside those pouches. Baby food pouches typically contain pureed fruits or vegetables or both. Plenty of products includes a higher percentage of fruit though to make its content more appetizing to babies.

The Good

Baby food pouches were made for convenience—they are lightweight, will fit in most bags and can be brought anywhere you go. The products have nutritious content and production is controlled and germ-free. One of the many reasons why the product is popular with parents is because children love them.

They are not hard to find and can be bought in your nearby supermarket or grocery store. For busy parents, this kind of product is a relief since it does not require preparation.

For overly hungry kids, having a baby food pouch around makes for convenience and a satisfied baby. It also reduces the mess that often comes with babies and solid food. There are no utensils to wash right after, and cleanup is minimal.

Its content is easy to swallow as well; parents can easily keep track of the amount of food their baby is taking in. Food that comes in pouches provides a much obvious clue.

Food that comes in containers like pouches encourages self-reliance. The child will be able to manage the amount he eats and when to stop eating once full.

Furthermore, baby food pouches suit busy families. They are designed as on-the-go meals for harried parents tending babies.

The Bad

There are also parents and health/nutrition experts who disapprove baby food pouches. Some say that the product extends the act of sucking and it does not promote chewing foods properly.

For some specialists, children will be able to learn more through contact and being capable of seeing and smelling the foods they are eating. The food contained in the pouches are mashed together, so all the textures, colors and tastes of the fruits or vegetables in there are concealed.

Children are required to progress from pureed food items to mashed ones, lumpy ones then to solid finger foods. Because they are not tested to chew the food, the child is made prone to gagging and snubbing any food that does not look and feel like purees.

Food in pouches does not stimulate children to pick and play with their food, which is a major component of learning using food and the manner in which to eat it properly.

Furthermore, the majority of baby food pouch contents are high in sugar. It does not include sufficient amounts of fiber and roughage which a child needs to feel full.

And because they are packed with sugars, it sticks to the teeth unlike rougher, more solid foods and there is a high risk of developing tooth decay.

As it is with foods made for convenience, they can be expensive in the long run. The majority of the cost concerns manufacturing methods and packaging instead of its content.

They are not environment-friendly too since the pouches add to landfill refuse.

What to Do

It is true that foods prepared at home will not trump convenience products. However, there is no renouncing that baby food pouches indeed have their position in the industry.

Are baby food pouches safe though? It is harmless to say that they are safe because they are manufactured in a strictly controlled environment. Here are some suggestions on using baby food pouches.

Use them only if required

It is safe to allow your child to eat content from baby food pouches every now and then. But keep in mind that the diet of a baby should be diverse, must have a variety of textures and should be balanced.

Pour the food into a bowl or plate

Make sure to dole out the content of the pouch into a bowl or saucer instead of having your baby suck from the pouch. This will encourage them to practice chewing.

Only use the pouch once

Once opened, a baby food pouch spoils fast so in the case of leftovers, do not store them in the fridge. Just throw the rest out.

Be certain to read labels

Get more information about the product by reading the labels thoroughly and select products with only one or a few fruit and vegetable ingredients.

Take baby food pouches as an extra, not as a sole means of nutrition

Baby food pouches are made as a convenient form of food item for children. You should view those products in that sense and remember to provide healthy, balanced solid meals for your children at all times.

Expose your child to different kinds of finger foods

Early on, you have to offer your children a variety of solid food items that he can eat, along with baby food pouch purees. You can first introduce food items like avocados and mangos to your baby as well as finely-cooked chicken strips or steamed vegetables.

When he reaches the 8-9 month mark, you can begin introducing food items like eggs, well-cooked meats, shredded cheeses, other cooked vegetables, and beans.

Let the child sit down while using a baby food pouch

Allowing the child to sit down while getting sustenance on a baby food pouch will minimize choking hazards. It will also aid kids to turn into careful eaters who keep watch over their food intake and stop whenever they are full.

Baby food pouches are a convenient and fast way to stave off hunger every once in a while. You still have to be aware that nothing beats the benefits of a home-cooked solid meal for babies.

So are baby food pouches safe for your kids? Yes, they are, but then again, they should not substitute for real food for your children.

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