Brainiac Foods: Snacks Made With Brain Nutrients (But…Also, Why To Avoid Relying On Food Pouches)

Cerebelly isn’t the only snacking brand looking to make meal time easier. Brainiac Foods makes a variety of snacks that contain what they call “the BrainPack” — a proprietary blend of brain nutrients including omega‑3s and choline.

If you’re a parent in the starting solids phase you know how time consuming, messy and downright draining meal times can be. By the time a child is one year old most of their calories should be coming from solids meaning that by about nine months parents should be giving their baby three meals a day. Especially for parents doing baby-led weaning that can feel very intense! While in an ideal world we’d be giving our little ones fresh veggies, scrumptious protein and the likes at every meal, that isn’t possible for most of us. Sometimes many of us feel like we need to reach for something easy, like a ready-to-eat pouch.

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Unfortunately many pouches contain preservatives, chemicals and added sugar- even though children under the age of two should not consume added sugar and of course anything that isn’t “real food” is never ideal.

Perhaps most importantly, however – and something that gets little attention –  is that a big reason why pouches shouldn’t be the first choice is that persistent use has been shown to potentially inhibit a child hitting certain milestones as it promotes sucking vs. chewing/swallowing, which is why feeding and speech experts usually advice against their frequent use. With that in mind, if you’re going to serve your child food from a pouch, it’s best to serve it, when possible, in a bowl with a spoon rather than have them suck from the pouch directly (though that’s obviously, for mess and convenience reasons, not always possible).

In that same vein, serving food from a pouch often gives parents a false sense of confidence. If your baby is sucking broccoli from a pouch that doesn’t mean your baby is learning to love broccoli. First off, most pouches are primarily applesauce or some sort of sweet fruit and just have a few drops of veggies and second your baby is not learning to love to eat broccoli when they’re sucking from a pouch, they’re just learning to love sucking from a pouch! It’s so easy! Way easier than chewing that’s for sure. So, sadly, this habit is way more likely to lead to a love of processed food than it is to lead to a love of broccoli.  

So where does all that leave us? Obviously I’m not a huge fan of pouches, but I know they’re necessary every once in awhile and that’s where Brainiac’s pouches come in. They’re made with a recognizable ingredient list plus have 160mg of Omega-3 DHA/EPA for healthy brain development, 120mg of choline and 25 mg of vitamin C for immune support. Note that DHA/EPA are sourced from fish (fish oil), so this is not suitable for vegans/vegetarians.

As far as pouches go these are great my son loves them and I’ll carry one in my diaper bag when I know I won’t be home for meal time. Note they also have Brain Bars, but given that they have cane sugar I would avoid them, especially for young children.