Never underestimate the importance of snacks. They can help you eat healthier, bring a little joy to your world, and prevent a hangry meltdown. They’re essential for traveling, too, whether you’re taking a road trip with a leisurely itinerary or rushing through an airport (especially since they can’t all be ATL). But there may be a better quick and easy alternative to the usual stale granola bars, sugary trail mix, and greasy potato chips: baby food!
Hallie Jackson, NBC’s chief White House correspondent, travels a lot for work, and she swears that baby food is a great on-the-go snack. As she told Bloomberg, “It can be really tough to find decent veggies when you’re racking up highway miles or bouncing from airport to airport,” and baby food squeeze pouches are “a perfect supplement to fast-food meals on the road.” Honestly, we’re intrigued.
While no grownup is probably going to want to scarf down pureed turkey and gravy (unless the circumstances are truly dire), the many fruit and veggie options don’t sound half bad. In fact, some are on par with fancy smoothie bar flavors. Take classic baby brand Gerber’s Pear, Peach & Strawberry pouch. Sounds delightful, no? Plum Organics pouches come in combos like Banana & Pumpkin, and Pear, Purple Carrot & Blueberry. Happy Baby (the brand Hallie Jackson prefers) offers more exotic ingredients like passion fruit and guava. Or—because you are an adult, after all—you could graduate straight to Happy Tot’s pouches in flavors like Sweet Potato, Apple, Carrot & Cinnamon with superfood chia added.
It’s not like adults haven’t willingly eaten baby food before, although it’s usually positioned as a suspect diet tip. Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal trainer Tracy Anderson is often credited/blamed for popularizing baby food as a meal supplement (maybe that explains the Goop brand name?).
Baby food today is pretty healthy, and the pouches are way more portable than those tiny glass jars, not to mention relatively mess-free (unless you spill one, so if you’re prone to accidents and strongly committed to baby food as a snack, consider investing in pouch spouts). They’re not subject to such draconian TSA liquid restrictions either: “Baby food is allowed in reasonable quantities in carry-on bags.” Jackson says, “I do get weird looks because I don’t have a baby”—but if you’re strong enough to weather odd stares and strangers’ judgement, forge ahead and proudly slurp your pureed spinach and pears in public!
The only drawback besides the creeping sense of shame and eerily smooth texture is that these pouches might not taste that great to you, since your palate is probably accustomed to salt, sugar, and seasonings in general. As these are intended for unsophisticated babies, they’re usually just straight-up pureed fruit and vegetables, with no additives or extra flavors—which is a good thing! Just not ideal if you’re looking for a tasty snack for your own grown self. Try making homemade snacks ahead of time instead, so you’ll have something healthy, delicious, and more filling, with all the fun of actual chewing involved to boot.
But if you’re pressed for time, while we would never advocate regularly replacing meals with tiny portions of pureed food, as an occasional healthy travel snack, it just might be worth a try. And although eating baby food may sound childish, planning ahead (and eating more fruits and vegetables) is a hallmark of a true adult.
Header image courtesy of Plum Organics/Facebook.