One of the largest changes to the baby food market in the last 10 years has been the appearance of foods in pouches rather than in glass jars. Pouches are convenient and easy to transport.

When using baby food pouches, it is tempting to feed your baby by letting them suck the food out of the pouch. This is an issue because sucking food from a pouch does not improve mouth and tongue muscle development – important for speech and a maturing swallow. When a baby sucks food from the pouch, the food is treated like a drink rather than a food. The way we move a drink around our mouth is quite different to the way we manage a drink.

If you use pouch foods for your baby, put them in a bowl and feed your baby from a spoon. Better still, mix the pouch foods with home cooked foods (e.g. pureed meat or mashed fruit or vegetables) to improve the overall texture and nutrient content of your baby’s meal.