Many parents turn to organic, super food-filled baby food as easy-to-prep solutions for picky eaters, but experts argue this may be exasperating the problem, and setting kids up for a lifetime of bad eating habits and obesity.
For one, more and more experts are concerned about the health problems these packages pose. Often given as the healthy alternative to regular snacks, few parents realize that these pouches contain between 12 and 20 grams of sugar—twice that in a regular apple—thanks to their most tasty ingredient: concentrated fruit juice (aka “added sugar” according to the US Department of Agriculture.)
Even when companies do not list concentrated fruit juice in their ingredients, the process by which this food is created is problematic in two ways. First, a lot of the water is removed, concentrating both the flavors and the sugars. The second problem is that grinding the fruit up destroys the insoluble fibers naturally found in this food, which mitigates the sugar and insulin spikes caused by high sugar foods. Since the food is pureed it is absorbed much faster, which only exacerbates the problem.
In other terms: regularly consuming these packaged foods is the perfect setup for diabetes, weight gain and heart disease later in life.
If that wasn’t enough, doctors are also concerned that frequent sucking of foods has a negative impact on the development on the facial muscles used for chewing increases the risk of cavities the same way juice does (remember how the doctor said to ditch the bottle at your one-year checkup? Same logic!) and this further spoils the palates of picky eaters. By indulging our kids demand to consume easy-to-eat, great tasting food, they miss a key developmental milestone and are set up for a lifetime of poor eating habits and dental problems.
There is the risk of mould and contamination, like last year’s GoGo Squeez mould contamination scare which, while not life-threatening, did make a whole lot of food taste terrible and posed an increased risk for allergic reactions in sensitive populations.
So, what’s a mum to do? We can make a more concerted effort to keep real foods on the table. Bananas and apples, steamed sweet potatoes, millet porridge with small chunks of sweet potato, noodles topped with a delicious veggie filled sauce and meatballs filled with kale, beet and more. We always season his food, let him try whatever he wants, and make sure that he has great associations with mealtime.
Eating real food is more than just eating your veggies. It is sitting at the table with mum and dad talking, stealing bites from other people and developing your own tastes, even if that means chucking a handful of dinner at Mum, then signing “all done” before asking for a special treat.
Source: www.mom.me, babycenter.com