Making sure your kids make healthy choices is a full-time job for most parents. Finish your vegetables; eat your fruit; put down that candy. Companies have long been marketing food directly to children—take the purple and green ketchup debacle from a few years ago. But recent pushes by parental groups towards less sugar and chemicals and more healthy options have opened the door to a new landscape of easy, healthy food options for kids.
Enter fruit puree in a pouch. Companies such as Plum Organics, GoGo Squeez and Smashies Pouches—as well as multi-national conglomerates such as Gerber®—are pushing a new way to eat fruit that’s fun, portable and requires no refrigeration. You know, like fruit, but different. The problem is that pureeing the fruit deprives you of the natural fibers and replaces it with an increase in sugars. Gerber's organic apple puree has 11 grams of sugar, “a massive amount for what comes to a very tiny serving,” Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, of the New York University College of Dentistry told the New York Daily News.
“Because it doesn't come with the fiber from the whole apple, what you're actually getting comes really distilled down as sugars, a little bit of other stuff, and that's all.”
As the pouches are designed to be snacked on all day, children’s teeth will therefore be covered in sugar for long periods of time. Couple this with the ongoing caries crisis in the youth of America and you have a recipe for disaster. Unless your child is going to be brushing after every time they open the pouch, skip the puree and pack an apple.