A recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry warns parents of the possible side effects to prolonged usage of baby food pouches. They compare the squeeze pouches to that of giving babies juice in sippy cups and bottles, and they indicate that tooth decay may develop if babies are given frequent access to the pouches.
What Harm Can Baby Food Pouches Cause?
The squeeze pouches, while convenient for families on the go, often contain sugary fruit blends which can reek havoc on developing teeth. Over time, the constant exposure of the foods directly to the teeth may begin to break down tooth enamel. However, further research will determine if there is a true correlation between the squeeze pouches and cavities in young children. It is indicated that if parents do allow for their children to eat from the pouches, that they continue to follow the recommendation of brushing their children’s teeth 2x per day and giving them water and milk to drink instead of juice.
Should I Allow My Child to Use Baby Food Pouches?
While the jury is still out on the actual effects of the pouches on little teeth, the old adage of “everything in moderation” holds true. Busy parents should not be discouraged from using the pouches in a pinch, but spoon feedings are still preferred. Feeding your child from a spoon not only contributes to functional oral motor development, but increases the social aspects of mealtimes. Parents are able to connect with their children during meals and if children are allowed access to constant drinking from the pouches, they are missing out on opportunities to practice developmental feeding skills when fed via spoon.