Snack-Free Babies: 1950s Gerber Baby Food vs 2013


I came across an ad for Gerber Baby food for "Graduates" which includes a line of highly processed, fatty and salty "snacks!" Seems to me that the implication is that babies get to "graduate" into eating just like the rest of America: snacking between meals and choosing processed foods with added fats, sugar and salt. Here's the line-up for 1953:


According to my research, Gerber didn't have a line of snacks for babies in the 1950s; it appears to be just meals and desserts.


Even the so-called "Junior" foods, perhaps the equivalent of today's "Graduates" line, didn't offer mothers crunchy, fatty salty snacks to feed their little ones.

Plus, no GMOs in the 1950s!

Comments

  1. When my daughter was a baby 7 years ago, I fed her Gerber babyfood but I made "balanced meals" for her with a protein, starch, and veggie/fruit and after I would give her a little "dessert" like hawaiian delight or custard from Gerber's desserts. No "graduates" puffs and snacks (baby cheetos!) Just like my mom fed me. I wanted to train her early to like normal, balanced meals and, just like in the 50's, a wholesome small dessert is a nice way to end a meal. As opposed to today, where we are supposed to deny dessert but fill them up on lots of juice drinks and junk snacks between meals. Takes all the pleasure and fun out of eating at an early age and also removes the important social aspect- Instead of enjoying their portion of dessert with the family at the table, they are running around alone crunching from a snack bag with a sippy cup hanging from their mouths all day. Sounds alot like most adults with their snacks and lattes. Her pediatrician gave me the thumbs up, but all I got from playgroup moms was crititcism or sideways glances that I didn't carry bags of goldfish/juiceboxes everywhere and was feeding my baby 'dessert". While they turned out fussy kids that only eat mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and fries, my daughter is a fantastic eater- not pickey, eating whatever is offered - she is bright, tall, slim, active and healthy. And we all eat together everyday- including a nice homemade dessert everynight. PS- I no longer see desserts anymore in the Gerber line-up at our grocerey store. I don't know if they discontinued the line of wholesome milk, egg, and fruit based desserts in favor of those refined crunchy snacks, but at least in my town they have.

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    Replies
    1. That is so interesting! Good catch on the no desserts but lots of snacks in Gerber's lineup!

      "Takes all the pleasure and fun out of eating at an early age and also removes the important social aspect- Instead of enjoying their portion of dessert with the family at the table, they are running around alone crunching from a snack bag with a sippy cup hanging from their mouths all day. Sounds alot like most adults with their snacks and lattes.

      Excellent insight!!

      Really, to not give a kid junky snacks and juice is now considered wrong? Wow...

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    2. I get crap all the time from people who (in a passive-aggressive "joking" way) tell me that I'm "mean" because I don't keep "kid" foods (e.g., cookies, fruit roll-ups, cereal, popsicles, snack foods, hot dogs) in the house. The same people who back off in mock (maybe not) horror when told that my kids eat pretty much what I eat, and, when given the choice to go out to dinner for their birthdays will have a hard time deciding among sushi, Thai, and Brazilian. They love rare steak, any kind of grilled or broiled fish, eggs, veggies (they devour steamed broccoli), I have to shop for fruit every third day because they clean out the bowl on the kitchen counter. They mainly drink water; maybe one glass of milk daily.

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    3. Passive-aggressive commentary in response to healthy eating is so silly. I know kids today are heavier than ever, and this explains a lot. I didn't realize parents were pressuring other parents in this way.

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