by Cassandra R. Elias
In the Spotlight: Food Pouches For Kids -- Good Idea or Lazy Parenting?
Getting toddlers and little kids to eat nutritious, balanced meals or even to get them to eat at all can be tough to say the least.
To help combat this problem, companies like Kraft and Nabisco created highly processed, heavily packaged items that are found in many school cafeterias.
However, there is a new trend in kid cuisine -- pouches of pureed food. No utensils or chewing required. Some manufacturers attribute their popularity to the popularity of "free range parenting."
A California company, Plum Organics, developed the pouches, filled with pureed organic fruits and vegetables, in 2008.
Since then, baby food giants like Gerber and Earth's Best have branched out from traditional jar baby food into portable pouches, which cost almost twice as much as their canned counterparts. The pouches are targeted to kids under seven years of age.
Neil Grimmer of Plum Organics and his wife came up with a version of the pureed food pouches to get their young daughters to eat while they were at day care all day. The concerned parents discovered that when they pureed the same fruits and vegetables they would normally send along with their daughters, the soft food disappeared much more readily than the whole, tough to chew items.
Grimmer quickly realized that his family's solution to their daughters' eating problems may be attractive to other parents for a different reason -- convenience.
Most families have so many commitments that finding time to sit down and have dinner together is a long-forgotten luxury. For some parents, food pouches ensure that their children are getting proper nutrition without them having to put a lot of time and thought into the process.
Opinions seem to be deeply divided on these food pouches. Do you think it's laziness or an attempt by well meaning parents to make sure their children get the nutrition they need? Let us know!