Photo courtesy of MSNBC/Getty

Don't knock it

Mike Pomranz
May 08, 2018

I don’t remember what I ate as a baby—thanks stupid baby brain!—but I do remember what my younger sister ate: jarred baby food. The baby aisle used to be stocked with these tiny jars in more flavors than my child brain could comprehend. Nowadays, the jars seem outdated, and pouched baby food is king.

Unlike tiny jars, pouches can simply be opened and tossed in the general direction of your child. As I would watch my son squeeze a meal into his mouth, I would often find myself thinking, why isn’t my dinner that easy? Apparently, NBC News White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson thinks it can be.

In a recent Bloomberg article on travel hacks, Jackson talked about some of her favorite tips for traveling—something she does constantly. “It sounds bizarre, but I always pack squeeze-pouches of baby food from Happy Baby,” she explained. “It can be really tough to find decent veggies when you’re racking up highway miles or bouncing from airport to airport. I was at the grocery store one day and passed by this stand of baby food pouches. I’d read online some folks suggesting those pouches as a way to get greens. A Ziploc bagful doesn't go bad, and it's a perfect supplement to fast-food meals on the road.”

Indeed, last August, we covered the squeezable food pouch trend—though not specifically the baby food side of it. Instead, a number of adult food manufacturers have picked up on the ease of the pouch and have started producing squeezable snacks like peanut butter and fruits for the over-18 crowd. Maybe someone should turn Hallie onto these options?

That said, Jackson also points out that traveling with baby food comes with another, slightly more devious advantage as well. Since airport security will make exceptions for babies, baby pouches are one of those rare liquids that can sometimes be snuck onto a plane. “I don't have any trouble with [Transportation Security Administration]—however many ounces they are—although I do get weird looks because I don't have a baby,” she continued. “I had one TSA agent say to me: ‘But you don't have a baby with you.’ I said, ‘I know, they're for me.’”

But going rogue against TSA isn’t Jackson’s main reason for taking the pouch route. “I’m not even a little bit ashamed to say that the pear-kale-spinach one tastes delicious,” she concluded. “It's a well-rounded, fairly nutritious meal when you're sitting in a car, driving six hours from one point in Iowa to another.”

Choosing not to throw her colleague’s choices under the bus, NBC News Health and Wellness Editor Madelyn Fernstrom told NBC’s Today that, sure, baby pouches can work as a snack as long as you’re not trying to live off them. “The concept is great,” Fernstrom was quoted as saying. “It's a great idea because she’s realistic. She’s not trying to replace other sources of whole fruits and vegetables, but supplement them.”

So there you have it: Adult professionals eating baby food as a snack could be a hot new trend. Though if you want to make the trend super cool, why not go the retro route and find yourself some tiny jars? Just don’t forget your tiny spoon too.

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