So a new article in the NYT explores the question of convenience food for babies in the form of pureed food in pouches (case in point, plum organics):
They interview Brian Wansink of Cornell University’s Food & Brand Lab, famous for their clever studies of consumption… and how it is highly affected by lots and lots of irrelevant information! This lab has taught us that plate size matters in how we eat, “healthy” labels fool our judgments of fast food, and school cafeteria layouts change kids’ food choices. Importantly (for this blog post), they’ve done a lot of research on what influences children’s food preferences and consumption.
He (and the other researcher interviewed) makes the point that structured meal time is important. Let’s think about mealtime apart from just its nutritional importance… but rather as an opportunity for socialization. So although these pouches are great in terms of providing healthy food for kids — eating them on the go makes them into “fast” food.
So my take away (as a busy working mama who cares about nutrition AND social structure) is this: Buy the pouches (save myself cooking time), allow cogscibaby to self-feed (save myself feeding time)… but do it around the dinner table.
This whole “feeding your kids” issue makes me thankful for breast milk… NO CHOICE! EASY TO TAKE ON THE GO! Wansink’s book is called Mindless Eating… right now, I’m just glad that breast milk allows for Mindless Parenting (that should be the title of my future book on “how to raise the best quality kids with the least amount of time/effort/inconvenience”).