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“Baby” Food Pouches and Their Use in 1–3.9-Year-Old New Zealand Children †

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
School of Sport Exercise and Nutrition, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand
Research Centre for Hauora and Health, Massey University, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Biostatistics Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand 2022, Wellington, New Zealand, 1–2 December 2022.
Joint Principal Investigators.
Med. Sci. Forum 2023, 18(1), 20;
Published: 16 March 2023


Baby food pouches are becoming an increasingly popular way to assist the transition from breast milk or infant formula to solid foods, both in New Zealand (NZ) and worldwide. These pouches have overtaken the market in NZ supermarkets, with 63.9% of total baby foods sold in 2021 being in pouch form. While most pouches are aimed at infants, some are pitched to an older age group, and it is possible that some toddlers and preschoolers continue to consume baby food pouches well beyond 12 months of age. Despite concerns raised by a number of health agencies, there has been almost no research undertaken on the use of “baby” food pouches by children, and related health effects. Therefore, this study aims to describe how “baby” food pouches are being used by young children in NZ. In Young Foods NZ, an observational cross-sectional study, 287 participants with children aged 1–3.9 years completed a feeding questionnaire about the child’s “baby” food pouch consumption including frequency, method of use, and setting. The majority (85.4%) of children had used a pouch at some time in their life; however, only 11.1% were current ‘frequent’ pouch users (i.e., used baby food pouches five or more times a week). Sixty-five percent of pouch users always consumed the contents by sucking straight from the nozzle. Chair (22.8%), highchair (25.7%), and while “on the go” (23.1%) were the most common locations where pouches were consumed. Overall, while most young children had tried a “baby” food pouch at some point in their life, relatively few were considered frequent pouch users. These findings suggest pouches are not contributing substantially to most young NZ children’s diets. However, over half of pouch users sucked the contents directly from the nozzle, and this may have implications for dental health and oral motor skill development.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, R.T. and A.-L.H.; methodology, R.T., A.-L.H., P.v.H., C.C., K.B. (Kathryn Beck), L.T.M. and R.F.; formal analysis, J.H. and B.B.; investigation, R.J., K.B. (Kimberley Brown), M.C. and L.F.; writing—original draft preparation, B.B.; writing—review and editing, R.T., A.-L.H., K.B. (Kathryn Beck), C.C., P.v.H. and L.T.M.; supervision, A.-L.H. and R.T.; project administration, J.M.; funding acquisition, R.T. and A.-L.H. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries, funding number: 406047, and the first author was supported by a University of Otago Master’s research scholarship.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was approved by the University of Otago Ethics Committee (Health) (H20/040).

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all caregivers involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

The data may be available from the last author upon reasonable request.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Bruckner, B.; Heath, A.-L.; von Hurst, P.; Conlon, C.; Beck, K.; Te Morenga, L.; Haszard, J.; Firestone, R.; McArthur, J.; Jupiterwala, R.; Brown, K.; Casale, M.; Fangupo, L.; Taylor, R. “Baby” Food Pouches and Their Use in 1–3.9-Year-Old New Zealand Children. Med. Sci. Forum 2023, 18, 20.

AMA Style

Bruckner B, Heath A-L, von Hurst P, Conlon C, Beck K, Te Morenga L, Haszard J, Firestone R, McArthur J, Jupiterwala R, Brown K, Casale M, Fangupo L, Taylor R. “Baby” Food Pouches and Their Use in 1–3.9-Year-Old New Zealand Children. Medical Sciences Forum. 2023; 18(1):20.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bruckner, Bailey, Anne-Louise Heath, Pamela von Hurst, Cathryn Conlon, Kathryn Beck, Lisa Te Morenga, Jillian Haszard, Ridvan Firestone, Jenny McArthur, Rosario Jupiterwala, Kimberley Brown, Maria Casale, Louise Fangupo, and Rachael Taylor. 2023. "“Baby” Food Pouches and Their Use in 1–3.9-Year-Old New Zealand Children" Medical Sciences Forum 18, no. 1: 20.

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