Many parents feed their infants store-bought baby food, and why not? They are convenient, cheap, and come in an assortment of flavours for a baby to enjoy. When I was pregnant with our first son, I decided to do some research about the food I would be putting into his mouth when the time came. I drew some interesting conclusions.
For a mom that is exhausted from frequent feedings and diaper changes, it’s easy to aim for options that are both quick and convenient. While we definitely deserve rest and quality ‘me time’, a few extra minutes to purée won’t only save money and time in the long run, but also help our babies to grow healthy and strong, and develop a pallet for food they will soon be eating in solid form.
Better Health Choice
Our babies deserve a great quality of life, but it’s hard to monitor what we’re putting into their bodies when their food has been through a few hands before reaching our grocery basket. When you make your own baby food using fresh fruits, vegetables and more, you know exactly what you’re putting into them.
Unfortunately, store-bought baby food contains less than a fifth of the recommended amount of Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium. Jarred food is cooked at high temperatures to kill the bacteria. That’s partly how they make it possible to store them on shelves for so long. Some see this as a negative thing, because many of the nutrients in the food are lost as a result.
While small jars of baby food seem cheap at first glance, the money really adds up. The quantities that babies eat can vary each day, and jars that come in standard sizes can’t accommodate for that. With homemade baby food, you decide how much to store and serve. If ingredients are on sale, you can buy in bulk prepare and freeze them to serve weeks later.
Whether you’re reusing plastic bags, containers or glass jars, you can easily store your own food without having a pile of containers from the store with every grocery run. If you’re used to throwing away jars once the baby is fed, consider how much better homemade baby food is for the environment. You can make food, and easily store them in reusable containers. Once they’re empty, the next batch is good to go.
More Authentic Flavours
If you have time, it’s fun to check out the difference in taste for yourself. Jarred fruits, vegetables and meats are both different in texture and flavour than the real thing. Most brands can’t compare to the real deal, and you can’t blame the manufacturers. There’s a reason those foods can last a long time without being refrigerated!
Easier to Transition to Solids
If a baby is used to eating jarred food, it’ll be quite the transition to get them to make the switch to the food you eat on a regular basis. By ten months old, our son could eat bits of meat and veggies from our plates because he had already tasted them in puréed form.