Perils of food pouches: How healthy are they?

Posted: 11:51 AM, Aug 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-01 11:51:40-04

Feeding children is always a struggle, especially when introducing them to new foods. But is a push for convenience creating “sugar monsters?”

What do adults do when they’re short on time and your picky eater needs to be fed? Many parents are turning to food pouches: organic, vegetables, fruit, grains.

“They’re convenient and everything’s mixed together. Less mess,” said parent Michelle Budney.

But could the pouches be cultivating picky eaters?

Nutritionist Tracy Scott said the pouches are “a convenience factor” and “The kids are getting used to having these as a liquified drink with a sweeter taste, and it’s fostering picky eaters for sure.”

Scott tells PIX11’s Kirstin Cole the rise in the pouches’ popularity could be growing a generation of children craving sugar, overeating and missing important developmental milestones.

“Babies are born with the reflux to suck and swallow. It is really important these muscles are developed at an early age, and you can miss a window and have children at ages 2, 3 and 4 with issues with texture,” she said.

Without taking the time to chew, children may be getting more calories than they need, fueling an already alarming childhood obesity epidemic, which has tripled since the 1970s; now, nearly 40% of kids are overweight or obese.

Nutritionists encourage parents to read labels and avoid ingredients like added sugar and concentrates.

If looking for the best nutritional purchase, go for the vegetables you want to feed your kids first on the label.