Baby food has come a long way from jarred peas and carrots of our childhoods, but although the new options may be organic, have superfoods, and seem healthy, many are more healthwashing than healthy.
In this episode, I sat down with Katie Thomson, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian, and co-founder and CEO of Square Baby, which has been described as the Blue Apron of baby food. Thomson spent her career pioneering nutrition strategy for some of the biggest and most respected brands and was the first nutritionist for Starbucks, working to shape their first health and wellness strategy.
We talk about sugar in baby food, how most brands are nutritionally unbalanced, and how you can find the best baby food brand for your child.
3:25 Let’s first talk about your story!
13:02 Why is nutrition in the first year so important for babies?
14:49 Where do you think as a nation we miss the mark when it comes to feeding babies?
24:46 What are some marketing tactics companies use to sway customers?
27:01 Why do manufacturers included added sugars in baby and toddler foods?
36:12 You were quoted in Food Navigator as saying, “Many organic pouches marketed as healthy have more sugar than a donut.” Wow, tell us more!
38:80 In 2019, the WHO urged for a ban on sugar in baby food. If that happens, will it affect the U.S. market?
42:58 There’s a misconception that babies won’t accept bitter foods like certain vegetables. Is that true?
48:55 What should parents look for when buying baby food?
51:25 Tell us more about Square Baby—what it is, what parents can expect, how it works.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW
Katie talks about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) 2019 clinical report about the early introduction of food allergens.
Katie mentions the AAP’s breastfeeding recommendations.
Julie mentions Katie’s quote in this Food Navigator article, “Many organic pouches marketed as healthy have more sugar than a donut.”
Julie mentions that in 2019, the WHO urged for a ban on sugar in baby food.
Katie mentions Partnership for a Healthier America’s Veggies Early and Often campaign.
Follow Katie Thomson on LinkedIn.
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