Post Content

snackpBy: Rachel Colchamiro and Louisa Paine

My kids haven’t been toddlers in many years, but I am lucky to have a few nieces and nephews to enjoy watching go through that stage all over again.  As a nutritionist, I probably pay more attention to food than most, but I have noticed one big difference between when my kids were little and now…all of those fruit and veggie pouches!

Those pouches have several perks.  You get nutrient-dense food in an easy-to-use package that offers independence…and let’s face it, less mess.   Unfortunately, there is a down side to relying too heavily on the pouches for your baby or child’s fruits and vegetables.

If kids eat fruit and veggie pouches too often…especially the same brands and flavors…they don’t get a chance to get used to other food tastes and textures.  This can make them less likely to want to eat a variety of foods, and could contribute to picky eating behaviors.   Also, limiting textures that toddlers and preschoolers eat to pureed food means they won’t be using all the muscles in their tongue and jaw—crunchy and chewy foods exercise these muscles to make them stronger. Lacking strength in the tongue and jaw may cause eating problems later on.

Pouches can also make it easy to overdo snacking, which may lead to your toddler eating more food than he or she needs. Too much snacking can also make kids less hungry at mealtimes.   And, while super-convenient, offering pouches on the go all the time also means your child might not get used to sitting and eating at the table, which is an important habit to establish.  Your child may also be missing out on learning socializing and talking skills which are often practiced during meal time – and don’t for about table manners!

I remember those early years and being a mom on-the-run very clearly!  How tempting it would have been to give my kids fruit and veggie pouches all the time to reduce struggles around food and make meals and snacks easier.  For the best development and nutrition outcomes (and probably the best outcome for your wallet!), try to balance those pouches with age-appropriate spoon-fed or finger-fed fruits and veggies at meals and snacks.  After all, those messy faces make for great photo opps and great memories down the road.

Louisa Paine is a Dietetic Intern at Simmons College

Written By:

DIrector, Massachusetts WIC Program


Recent Posts

Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital Staff Go the Extra Mile for Patients posted on Jun 23

Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital Staff Go the Extra Mile for Patients

Nick Grigoriou is a 25-year-old man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscular degeneration and weakness.  A patient at DPH’s Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children in Canton since 2012, Nick is preparing to be discharged home later this month.  Due to   …Continue Reading Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital Staff Go the Extra Mile for Patients

Elevating the Essential Workforce posted on Apr 11

Elevating the Essential Workforce

Written by Emily Sparer-Fine, Director of the Occupational Health and Surveillance Program Essential workers encompass a wide variety of occupations, many of which are familiar to us: health care workers, police, fire and other emergency personnel, transit workers and grocery workers, while other workers equally   …Continue Reading Elevating the Essential Workforce

Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness posted on Apr 10

Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness

Written by Nicole Schmitt of the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services To address the needs of individuals at high risk for overdose and other medical complications associated with substance use, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Bureau of Substance Addiction Services awarded contracts to   …Continue Reading Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness