ETX Daily Up
Wire Service
2 minute read
18 Jul 2022
9:31 pm

Some baby food pouches are more sugary than Coca-Cola, dentists warn

ETX Daily Up

Whether it's strawberry, apple or apricot, there's no denying that baby food pouches are highly convenient.

Father Feeding Baby Daughter In High Chair | Picture: iStock

Baby food pouches are a must-have in every parent’s diaper bag, seeming as practical as they are healthy for little ones’ diets. And yet, fruit purées packaged in squeezable pouches might not be so harmless for kids’ teeth, so much so that British dentists are sounding the alarm about their staggering sugar content.

Whether it’s strawberry, apple or apricot, there’s no denying that fruit purées packaged in pouches for babies toddlers to squeeze directly into their mouths are highly convenient when out and about. And since they’re a fruit-based snack, we tend to consider them a good choice for children.

However, the British Dental Association (BDA) examined the composition of 109 such products, all designed for children under 12 months of age, to see how much sugar these products contain. In fact, more than a quarter of them contained more sugar than a can of Coca-Cola, when compared by volume. Also, two thirds of the baby food pouches exceeded five grams of sugar per 100 ml.

ALSO READ: We tested baby food sugar levels in South Africa. This is what we found

For 40% of the samples, these fruit purée pouches were clearly marketed as a product suitable for children from four months old. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization recommends giving this kind of food product only from six months onwards. 

According to the BDA, consumers should not be seduced by advertising claims such as “no added sugar” or “high in fiber.” According to the British dentists, the marketing of these products wrongly suggests that they are healthy products.

And yet, it is far from being the case, especially when they are consumed directly by sucking the contents of the baby food pouch into the mouth — even though the whole point of this packaging is precisely to squeeze the contents out so as not to need a spoon. In fact, this process ensures that the food spends more time in contact with teeth, increasing the risk of erosion and decay.