Kid Friendly Meals


November 21, 2017

To Baby Food Pouch or Not?

The current trend of baby food pouches promise parents clean and convenient options for food on the go, especially for picky eaters.  Many pouch brands are shelf-stable, so it’s a super easy option for busy families. There are some things to keep in mind as you decide if they are a good choice for your family and how to best use them with your kids.


  • Pouches provide fruits and vegetables which is often lacking in children’s diets. The fruits in the pouches, however, often greatly outnumber the vegetables, meaning that the sugar content is quite high. The extra sugar can linger in the mouth and like too much of any type of sugar, lead to cavities.
  • Even if the flavor boasts kale and spinach, more than likely a cheaper, sweeter option like apple, pear, or carrot is the first ingredient.


  • Children love the pouches in part because they are easy for them to hold and control their own food intake. While holding pouches is good for some motor skills, kids are not, however, picking up their food and interacting with it (which is important for picky eaters and introducing new foods). They also are not using a fork or spoon which is important for fine motor development.
  • Kids consume the pouches through sucking them, not through chewing their food. This means that they are missing out on experiencing oral skills.
  • Kids don’t know what they are eating when they are sucking straight from a pouch. So they are not learning what foods look like. They also are not learning about portion sizes and portion control.

So what is a parent to do?

  • Use them occasionally, if you’re traveling or need a snack on the go and sitting down is just not an option.
  • Use the pouch as a supplement to a meal, but don’t suck from the pouch. Offer the pouch food on a spoon or in a bowl.  This helps a child to see it, take as much as he/she likes, and have experience using a spoon.
  • Many parents give their child pouches while they are wandering around since it’s tough to get a rambunctious toddler to sit down for a snack or meal. However, research shows that mealtimes sitting together as a family have benefits in child development that last through adulthood. Just make sure there are no distractions like TV or other devices as these can negate the positive benefits of family mealtimes.

Jennifer Martin-Biggers

Jennifer is the Associate Director for Nutrition Sciences and Regulatory Affairs at Munchkin. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and holds a MS and PhD in Nutrition as well. Jennifer is a child nutrition and nutrition communication and research expert. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Society for Nutrition, and the Institute of Food Technologists.