The new trend in feeding kids

You've seen them on the shelves at your local grocery store in the baby food aisle and there's no doubt that your kids love them, but is baby food in pouches replacing good old-fashioned spoon feeding for babies who are learning to eat?

What are food pouches?

At first glance, squeezable food pouches — typically filled with applesauce-like ingredients — could be every parent's dream! Available in different consistencies and packed with fruits and vegetables, many of which are organic as well, it's not a surprise that parents are loving them as a no-fuss, mess-free alternative to traditional jarred food/spoon feeding for children who are learning to eat.

You can find squeezable food pouches at almost any store now... they're even popping up at places like Starbucks, where you can grab one to go for your little one while you pick up a latte. Some brands are marketed for children who are already professional eaters — toddlers and even school-aged kids — but many options now specify that they are for babies as young as 4 months who are in the "Stage 1" of baby food.

Still working on getting to the baby food phase? Here's The 4-1-1 on baby-led weaning >>

Can food pouches be a substitute for baby food?

But, is using squeezable baby food pouches a safe alternative for babies who are still mastering how to get those pureed peas into their tummies? While it's hard not to be tempted by the BPA-free packaging, the use of all-organic ingredients and even the fantastic process that is used to make the food pouches (the use of the pouches allows for fresher fruit and vegetables, which means less processing — hooray!), babies still need to learn how to eat via the old-school method... a spoon.

Although your baby may suck down the fruit in a squeezable food pouch in the blink of an eye, learning to swallow food that has been put in her mouth by a spoon helps her develop her gag reflex and swallowing technique, both which are essential to moving on to chunkier solid foods.

Baby food expert, Annabel Karmel tells us about Starting solids: Healthiest ways to feed your toddlers >>

When food pouches can come in handy

Here's the good news for parents (and their kids!) who are already addicted to squeezable food pouches... they are convenient to use and can certainly come in handy when traveling or heading to the park with your new eater in tow. We've all probably had a shattered baby food jar in our diaper bags at one time or another and with food pouches, there's no concern about breakable glass, making them perfect for being out and about — you can always squeeze the food from the pouch into a small bowl and then use a spoon to feed you little one.

Think the idea of squeezable food pouches are cool, but not so excited about having to toss them in the trash? Check out the Sili Squeeze, a reusable food pouch that even comes in different resistances for different ages to squeeze!

More on baby food

Beyond baby food
Transitioning Baby to first foods
10 Healthy baby food purees

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Comments on "Is baby food in pouches replacing babies being spoon fed?"

Kellie July 23, 2013 | 9:25 PM

Agree with Krystal, I thought the idea was to squeeze onto a spoon and feed as normal. I am yet to see anyone squeeze directly into the bub's mouth, and to think some do is actually quite scary when you consider the choking hazards. Squeezing directly down a bub's throat would also be setting back getting a taste for the new foods etc.

Mommyto4 January 08, 2013 | 1:04 PM

I'm wondering if this is simply a more cost effective way to package the baby food and is being branded for its convenience? I don't know though. It also only comes in one size (that I've seen) and contains more food per package than the small glass jars, so whenever I have had to feed a very new eater it would mean my only choice is to waste some food that they often don't finish before the 2-3 day time frame when I must throw out the rest. It's more expensive for the consumer then, because of the wasted food. There is good use for this packaging with traveling (and we travel a lot) but I wish glass jars were sticking around for more everyday use.

Krystal October 23, 2012 | 10:32 AM

I'm kind of surprised by this article because every I know squeezes the food onto spoons and then feeds their baby. I think the pouches are just easier to carry around than glass jars in a diaper bag. However I think that once the child is eating 'regular food', they shouldn't use the pouches anymore.

Kari July 30, 2012 | 3:30 PM

I am surprised by your comment "even the fantastic process that is used to make the food pouches (the use of the pouches allows for fresher fruit and vegetables, which means less processing — hooray!)," - as many of the pouches contain product which is a processed puree ... which is not nearly as fresh as when processed from fresh fruits & vegetables right into a glass jar.

melissa June 25, 2012 | 10:40 AM

I have the silisqueeze but have a lot of trouble using it with my 10 month old. Even my 2 year old niece struggles to get the contents out. Have you seen this new company? www.littlegreenpouch? It looks like they could be a better solution, but that haven't started selling yet.

MomofFive May 14, 2012 | 9:25 PM

I've seen more and more moms use these pouches to feed their babies. They're awesome to use every now and again, when spoon-feeding might not be an option, but I think it's too easy to get used to them... for both the kids and the parents!

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