Baby pouches may be convenient, time-saving and labelled as having no added sugar, but did you know that many of them are in fact very high in sugar? For this reason, dentists in the UK are calling for action such as a sugar levy to encourage reformulation.
Many of these pouches contain fruit and vegetables and although fruit and veg contain natural sugar, once they are processed or crushed this sugar becomes a free sugar. This free sugar is just as bad as added sugar, in that it increases the risk of tooth decay.
It’s important to remember that babies are not born with a sweet tooth, so early childhood is an important time for setting healthy eating habits, especially during weaning time. Encouraging sugary foods and drinks increases the risk of obesity and decay.
The other thing to consider is that introducing your baby to solid foods at 6 months is important for developing oral motor skills and fine motor skills. Sucking regularly on these pouches means that your baby will miss out on eating and exploring food with different textures and learning to push the food around their mouths with their tongues. Biting and chewing also help to develop the muscles needed for speech development. Using these pouches may also cause a delay in learning how to eat from a spoon and self-feed.
It's best not to normalise convenience food. It is best, and often better fun for children to be introduced to the foods that the family eats at mealtimes. Children who eat a lot of baby food pouches may not like family foods when they are then offered.
Healthy Food For Life!