There is a pouch with pureed apples and pumpkin in my cupboard. Another one is tucked in the diaper bag together with a small spoon. My baby is 10 months old. She has been eating finger foods for the last five months and fully participates in family meals, eating the same food as the rest of us.
So why do I need puree pouches?
They are my emergency supply. Imagine I am stuck in a subway or car with my baby without a packed lunch or restaurants in the vicinity. Or I just want her to have a bite and then nap happily while my husband, two other kids, and I are enjoying a leisurely meal out. Yes, meals with two kids can suddenly seem leisurely when your third is sleeping!
But I would not rely on puree pouches every day and definitely not every meal. Here's why:
No one can argue that purees in pouches are a perfect fit for our crazy busy lives. And although not an adequate substitute for fresh fruit and veggies, purees in pouches still have a decent amount of nutrition and can provide much-needed vitamins and minerals, especially important for children with feeding difficulties.
I am confident that purees in pouches are not a bad thing unto themselves. We just tend to rely on them a little too much. Here is how every parent and child can enjoy the convenience of purees in pouches without contributing to potential feeding problems later on:
Purees in pouches can be a nutritious addition to our kids' diets and a lifesaving solution for parents. But it is important to integrate them mindfully in eating without compromising the development of eating skills and taste preferences.
Natalia Stasenko MS, RD, CDN is a pediatric dietitian based in London and New York. A mother of three, she is passionate about feeding kids of all ages. Natalia contributed her nutritional expertise to the cookbook Baby-Led Feeding, and when not writing, teaching online feeding classes or consulting, she is in the kitchen cooking and eating with her family. Follow Natalia on Twitter, read more of her stories on feedingbytes.com.
Image: Baby with food pouch via Shutterstock