3 Reasons Why Baby Food Pouches Are Problematic and Why You Shouldn't Let Your Kids Eat Them
Walk into any grocery store baby food aisle - and you'll see the same thing - almost the entire section will be floor to ceiling PUREED BABY FOOD POUCHES. There will be a few in glass jars, but they'll be far outnumbered by those plastic pouches with the twist off lids...
In today's fast-paced world, convenience often takes precedence over what's best for our children's health. Baby food pouches have become a go-to option for many parents, offering easy feeding solutions for busy lifestyles. However, just because something is ubiquitous, doesn't mean that it's safe...
Here, I'll delve into why baby food pouches might not be as innocent as they seem and why you should reconsider letting your kids consume them.
1. They're Cooked In Plastic and Have Lots of Chemicals:
All the Plastic is Toxic - this is something that I've covered in previous posts. Many people believe that some types of plastic are safe, while others are not... but that's a misunderstanding... in fact, no plastic has been unequivocally proven safe.
In fact, more and more, Scientists are realizing that there are THOUSANDS of chemicals that can leach from plastic into our food & personal care items.
Chemicals that have been found in pureed baby food:
One thing that actually accelerates the amount of chemicals that leach from plastic is heat... and unfortunately, every single (non refrigerated) pureed baby food pouch is cooked in the plastic pouch. In the food manufacturing facility, the pouch is filled with the pureed baby food and then rapidly heated to high temperatures - a legally required process called Pasteurization. While it kills off other harmful bacteria and make the pureed baby food shelf stable, it also injects TONS OF CHEMICALS & MICROPLASTICS into your baby's food. Many of these chemicals are still unknown - which means they're also unregulated.
In a study that was done in 2019, Scientists found identified 42 chemicals migrating into the baby food pureed, including eight non-intentionally added chemicals:
"Two oligomers were quantified by means of reference standard materials at concentration levels above 0.010 mg/kg, exceeding the maximum residue levels for baby food."
"Poor or no toxicity data of most of the FCM migrants is available emphasizing the need for the assessment of potential risks arising from these compounds."
Oligomers are by-product chemicals that occur in the factory setting during plastic production, and are considered to be significantly toxic.
On top of all of this, plastic baby food pouches are made with multiples layers of plastic and aluminum - with the majority of them having Polypropylene on the inner most layer that touches your baby's pureed food.
Polypropylene is known to be highly flammable - so many toxic flame retardants are added to polypropylene, which have been found to leach out.
While baby food pouches might boast claims of being nutritious, a closer look at their ingredient lists reveals a different story. Many commercially produced pouches contain preservatives, artificial flavors, and excessive amounts of added sugars, all of which can have detrimental effects on a child's health. These chemicals and additives can disrupt your child's developing digestive system, potentially leading to allergies, digestive issues, and even long-term health concerns.
2. Highly Processed, Minimal Nutrition: Baby food pouches often prioritize convenience over nutrition. The processing required to create a shelf-stable product can result in a loss of essential nutrients.
Highly processed foods are directly correlated with increased all-cause Mortality, as well as metabolic disorders, obesity and disrupted gut microbiome.
In a large review written by a British advocacy group, outlining the extensive concerns with Ultra-processed foods being marketed towards children, they describe the lack of nutritional content in pureed baby foods:
"Manufacturing processes for UPF involve several steps, different industries and complex technologies (Monteiro et al, 2019). The first step is fractioning of whole foods into isolated ingredients or food substances, followed
by chemical modifications of selected substances.... then re-assembly of unmodified and modified food substances with little to no whole foods, using industrial techniques. Additives are then typically applied to make the product appealing and palatable or hyper-palatable. Finally, the product is packaged, typically in synthetic materials. As well as additives, UPF may contain process contaminants generated when an ingredient in a food is processed (e.g. acrylamide or toxic fat derivatives) and harmful substances can migrate in to the food from its packaging (e.g. bisphenols)."
3. Disrupted Eating Patterns and Taste Development: When children consume food from pouches, they miss out on valuable sensory experiences that come with handling and exploring whole foods. Squeezing purees directly into their mouths doesn't allow them to engage with the textures, smells, and tastes of real foods.
This can result in a skewed palate and a decreased willingness to try new foods in the future. Additionally, the act of self-feeding, as encouraged by baby-led weaning, promotes a sense of independence and self-regulation, which is essential for developing healthy eating habits and preventing overeating.
Studies have shown that children that are fed primarily on purees - actually grow up to be PICKIER eaters.
Ultimately, studies show that Baby Lead weaning is the way to go...
Conclusion: Babys that eat ultra-processed pureed foods when they're little... grow up to be adults that prefer ultra-processed foods. This will literally shorten their lifespan - while also providing a whole host of diseases and disorders that come along with it.
While baby food pouches might offer convenience in our busy lives, it's crucial to consider the potential downsides they bring to our children's health and development. Hidden chemicals, nutritional concerns, and disrupted eating patterns are just a few of the reasons why baby food pouches might not be the best choice for your child.
Instead, prioritize whole, fresh foods and explore alternatives like baby-led weaning to ensure your child's nutritional needs are met while promoting healthy eating habits and sensory development. Remember, every parenting decision should be made with your child's long-term well-being in mind.