OK, I am back to the subject of squeeze pouch foods or as another cute 2 1/2 year old called it squeegy fruit. I have written about this before as I was fascinated by these when they first hit the market. On the one hand, I get that they are convenient and are easy to use for those first months of pureed baby foods, but beyond that, I think they are given to older children.
It seems that more and more kids are enjoying squeegy fruit and also slurping pureed vegetables. The issue is these pouches foods are being masqueraded as healthy foods. Yes, they are fruits and vegetables often mixed together, but if you read the labels it gets a bit more complicated.
I see so many toddlers in my office who are happily sucking down a packet of apples and blueberries. These parents are adamant that their kids don't drink juice boxes or eat junk food but at the same time they are letting their children suck down several of these pouches a day. This is also often in place of meals, as many of these children are described as picky eaters. I saw a little boy today who had been vomiting, but was on the exam table with pouch to mouth as he drank/at a combo of apples, peas and something else. (note: not recommended when vomiting).
So....I decided to look up the nutritional value of these pouches....many of them although all organic or described as healthy do contain a lot of carbohydrate and sugars. Actually, as much as two fruit roll ups! Yes, I did a little comparison and 2 of the dreaded fruit rolls ups contain 23 grams of carbs and almost 11 grams of sugar.....while a 3.2 ounce pouch has somewhere between 19-24 grams of carbs and between 14-23 grams of sugar.
The point of this is not to say that squeeze pouches are bad, or that a child should never have a fruit roll up. Rather, it is to point out that even healthy snacks can be fu
I dont think this will come as a huge surprise to some people but many restaurant meals designed especially for kids contain way too much salt, calories and fat. What is surprising is how loaded some of these menu items really are. No caring parent wants their child to eat unhealthy foods and probably believe that a kids menu item is going to be a reasonable amount of calories and sodium. How bad can such a smaller meal be?
According to a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), pretty bad.
The CSPI has long monitored the publics nutritional interest. They campaigned to bar sodium nitrates in bacon and other cured meats, pushed for sodium levels to be added to all food labels, obtained funding for more government food inspectors and prompted Congress to pass a law requiring notification of the presence of food allergens such as peanuts, wheat and milk on food labels to name just a few.
Now theyve turned to restaurant kids menu items. The group found that among almost 3,500 combinations surveyed, kids meals failed to meet nutritional standards 97% of the time. Thats actually an improvement though over 2008 - when meals failed to meet standards 99% of the time. Not much of a change in 5 years.
What were some of the restaurants surveyed? Popular chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dairy Queen, Hardee's, McDonald's, Panda Express, Perkins Family Restaurants and Popeyes.
Every kids meal fell-short of nutritional recommendations adopted by the center from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They also didnt meet the standards set by the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell Program, said the CSPI, which titled its study, "Kids' Meals: Obesity on the Menu."
"Most chains seem stuck in a time warp, serving up the same old meals based on chicken nuggets, burgers, macaroni and cheese, fries, and soda," said Margo Wootan, CSPI nutrition policy director. "It's like the restaurant industry didn