Feeding kids isn’t an easy task. And parents today are busier than ever. So, when portable, tasty, nutrition dense servings of real fruits and veggies began hitting the shelves it was a total game changer. No more dirty dishes or spills to pick up, just healthy food delivered quickly and easily. Since Go-gurt debuted its kid-specific yogurt in a tube, the squeezable food category has seen a huge expansion. With parents rising awareness about sugar and artificial coloring, there was a demand for more natural options. Cut to the baby food aisle fully stocked with pureed fruit and veggie pouches – designed as a simple and healthy snack option for families on the go. But, as with most things that are convenient, there are some drawbacks to handing kids these pouches on a regular basis.
It restricts them from expanding their taste palates.
Kids are picky. It can seem like a brilliant idea to sneak peas and kale into a smoothie masked by the flavor of fruit, but children should develop a diverse sense of flavor early on in order to be adventurous eaters in adulthood.
It hinders motor development in eating.
It’s important to learn how to eat from an early age. Utilizing utensils, chewing and experiencing different textures are imperative to growing up and learning how to self feed. By continuing to eat what is essentially pureed baby food, children can be missing out on crucial food experiences.
It can create a habit of placation.
When in the car or at the grocery store, it’s tempting to calm a tantrum with a treat. The availability of pouches provide an unnecessary opportunity for snacking, and can promote overeating.
While there is still a boom in growth in the pouch category, there isn’t any need to do away with them entirely. Foods that help to expand the taste palate and that require chewing will create a healthier eating experience. When possible, providing whole foods for the child to interact with is key. However, parents can still rejoice at the convenience of nutrient rich food on the go for their kids when time doesn’t allow for anything else.