Don’t knock fruit and veggie pouches until you try these unique and easy finger food-friendly ways to use pouches! Pouches are the perfect way to switch things up for kids.
This post was written in partnership with my friends at Baby Gourmet. As always, all opinions are my own!
Fruits and veggies are key for our kids’ growth and development—we all know this! At around six months of age your baby is ready to start exploring the world of real food.
When starting solids we often emphasize iron-rich foods, and for good reason! Babies need iron-rich foods because their iron-stores deplete around that six month mark (they have iron stores built up from when in the womb until then).
But did you know that introducing fruits and veggies is also really important?
Nutritionally, fruits and veggies offer fibre and many important vitamins and minerals, but offering real fruits and veggies will help allow your baby to experience the taste, texture and feel food, which means they’re more likely to grow and love them long term.
I recommend serving them in all types of ways. If they’re naturally soft like bananas or avocados, you can serve them whole (I like to coat them in iron-fortified cereal for better grip and added iron).
If they’re firm, like carrots or broccoli, you can peel, steam and cool them prior to serving. You can also grate hard fruits and veggies like apples, pears, and zucchini in order to offer safely.
And sometimes it’s nice to switch things up and use organic fruit and veggie pouches! These are great if you’re super busy and on-the-go, or if you just want to add some variety to your little ones’ fruit and veggie regime.
And c’mon—what parent doesn’t love these things! They’re easy, convenient and can pack a lot of nutrition too! They’re pretty tasty too (even for older kids and adults)! My first choice is and always has been… Baby Gourmet.
All three of my kiddos enjoyed their BG pouches and quite honestly, they were a lifesaver for me as a busy mom. Baby Gourmet has also just come out with two new delicious varieties – Pearberry Purple Carrot and Avocado Mango.
The main thing I love about these pouches has got to be the simple ingredient list. All you will see is a list of organic fruits and veggies, as well as other nutritious foods like whole grains, seeds and Greek Yogurt to add even more nutrition! Bonus – they’re shelf- stable, which means they’re great to have stocked in your pantry.
Over the years I’ve become really creative with these pouches. Yes, my kids have all consumed them straight out of the pouch, but there are lots of other delicious ways to consume fruit and veggie pouches.
So, here are my top 5 easy and nutritious ways to serve fruit and veggie pouches!
1. Add them to foods like oatmeal, infant cereal and plain Greek yogurt
I love serving oatmeal for breakfast in the morning. Oats are high in soluble-fibre which equates to staying power or a longer-lasting feeling of fullness. Adding flavour or sweetness to plain oatmeal or plain Greek Yogurt is a great way to increase taste, boost nutrition and provide variety. It’s also a great way to control the overall amount of sugar consumed!
2. Use them to slow-cook meats like pork, chicken or beef.
Seriously! The natural sugar present in fruit and veggie pouches make a great marinade. And adding the pouches as part of sauce or marinade softens meat and adds flavour and nutrition, making it perfect for little ones!
3. Add them to homemade smoothies and popsicles!
I love a homemade popsicle. And with summer right around the corner, what better time to dive into these cooling nutritious treats. Adding fruit and veggie pouches to smoothies and Greek Yogurt popsicles adds natural flavour and texture – no need for added sugar here!
4. As a dip or topping for French toast, or pancakes!
Babies and toddlers love dipping. Heck, big kids and adults love dipping too! Pouches are a yummy, nutritious and naturally sweet option for dipping. They’re also a great alternative to sticky syrup!
5. Use them in baby-friendly baked foods like muffins, loaves and cookies.
There are lots of great toddler-friendly baking recipes out there. And incorporating a fruit and veggie pouch into your existing recipes is easy! Simply swap out apple sauce or mashed banana in your recipes and use a pouch as a great alternative! It will add an extra dose of nutrition and a yummy flavour.
One of my favourites baby-friendly recipe is a fruity cinnamon cookie. It has no added sugar and lots of nutritious ingredients. They’re easy to make, easy to freeze and kids (of all ages) love them. Check them out below!