Nutritional Content and Ingredients of Commercial Infant and Toddler Food Pouches Compared With Other Packages Available in the United States


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Abstract

The ingredients and nutrients of infant and toddler foods (ITFs) sold in pouches were compared with products available in other packages, such as jars/packs and other containers. Company websites (n = 21) and in-store shelf inventory (n = 3) were used to create a database of commercial ITFs containing vegetables (n = 548) sold in the United States. Results indicated that ITFs containing vegetables were most commonly packaged in pouches (50%), followed by “other” packages (25%) and jars/packs (25%). Infant and toddler food pouches contained significantly more sugars per serving and per Reference Amount Customarily Consumed, as well as a greater percentage of calories from sugars, compared with both jars/packs and “other” packages. Pouches were also more likely to contain vegetable/fruit blends, whereas jars/packs were more likely to contain single-vegetable or multivegetable blends, and “other” packages were more likely to contain vegetable/other ingredient combinations (eg, grains and/or dairy). Pouches are popular, widely available, and convenient but may not represent the vegetable profiles and nutritional qualities that parents believe they are buying for their children.

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