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Monday 18 July, 2016

7 Mistakes of Feeding – #5 Using Squeezies

I make no secret that I am not a fan of squeezie pouches.  Pouches of baby food are everywhere.  They are sold in supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores; in fact, just about everywhere you can find nappies or formula, so you could be forgiven for thinking they are an OK and acceptable way of feeding your baby … Unfortunately not.

Their creators tells us they are “natural”, in some cases “organic”, contain lots of “fruits of veg” with “no added sugar or salt”.  This may be true for the minimal amount of fresh produce in them, but the amount of water and fillers added leaves them lacking in goodness.  They lack the nutrition, taste and texture that babies need to thrive.  A diet largely consisting of squeeze pouches is not doing any favours for your baby.

Do you every wonder how they are able to be kept out of the fridge and on the shelf for up to 18 months?  I personally believe an ‘18 month shelf life’ belongs on a dog food label not on baby food. We all know fresh is best, and that definitely applies when nourishing your growing baby.

I completely understand there can be a time and place for squeeze pouches as parenting can be bloody difficult and time can run away on us, but just like fast food for adults, they should be an occasional food and not form part of your babies’ regular diet.

Squeezies and other shelf stable baby food products should not be regularly be offered to babies because:

  • These types of products are packaged in Retort Pouches and are known as AMBIENT or SHELF STABLE products, meaning they need no refrigeration as they go through an extreme heat process where the pouches are sealed and taken to approximately 250 degrees and held for a few minutes.  This heat treatment not only kills the bacteria and microorganisms that would otherwise see the food spoil in a matter or days, it also kills most of the nutritional goodness of the meal.
  • They offer little sensory stimulation for your baby as they can’t see, smell or touch the food they are consuming.  It makes it all an invisible meal.
  • They don’t taste like fresh vibrant food. Your baby will not learn to taste flavours of individual foods, instead it’s a mush of weirdness … that’s the only word I can think of, other than disgusting.  Watch me tasting some.
  • Your baby will develop a taste preference for bland boring food with little texture.  This is likely to contribute to fussy eating.
  • Dr Elisa Rough, Pediatrician, with whom I have done some work, sees dozens of patients with food-related issues, many of which are contributed to by the over use of Squeeze Pouches.  She says, “I feel they may well affect children’s oromotor development and prevent normal tolerance of varying food textures, have an impact on the development of dental caries (along the lines of nursing bottle caries) as well as the social aspects of families “eating on the run”.  Ultimately, they are a “packaged” food, rather than a whole food.
  • Speech Pathologists are also experiencing an increase in patients presenting with issues stemming from these pouches as babies are sucking and not chewing, the tongue muscle is not developing as it should.

So whilst they are super convenient; they are cheap, clean to use, store in the cupboard, or the handbag, they are not great for your babies’ health, motor skill development or their long-term relationship with food.  In effect, they are developing a relationship with over processed (junk) food from a very early age.

They should be learning to love good fresh food across all the colours of the rainbow and all the flavours of the world.

Whilst our Fresh Pots are a convenient ready meal, they are a Fresh All Natural product using real ingredients and contain no fillers, stabilisers or preservatives.  Being time poor no longer needs to mean poor quality food for your baby.  This is a ready meal you can happily include in your babies’ diet on a regular basis as they are just like the home-made version.

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