Skip to main content



Pouches or No Pouches?

p1 p2

By Deborah J. Wroblewski, RDT

I am often asked, “Are fruit and vegetable juice pouches a healthy choice for my child?”  The parent or caregiver will state, “It’s the only way I can make sure that my child is getting enough fruit and vegetables.”

First off, let me start by saying, all food fits. Pouches can come in handy if one is traveling and has no access to whole foods. However, there are many reasons why pouches can be a poor choice for your child.

Let’s start with the fact that these pouches usually have more fruit than vegetables. This raises the amount of sugar your child is ingesting.

Then there is the issue of digestion.  Digestion starts in the mouth. The act of breaking down whole foods by chewing helps develop the child’s mouth feel for whole foods. This important step is bypassed when consuming the pouches.

Also, children tend to get used to the pouches and have no interest in whole foods, such as eating a fresh apple or a piece of broccoli. This is an area of concern, because children develop their life long eating habits under the age of five. They need to be exposed to a variety of whole foods to ensure a healthy attitude and relationship towards food.

So, are pouches a healthy alternative to the real thing?  Not so much. Use them sparingly and remember to keep it REAL by offering a variety of foods throughout the day.

Deborah J. Wroblewski is a Parent Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program. She can be reached at djw59@cornell.edu

Comments

Leave a Reply