The Baby Food Debate: The Benefits of Homemade Baby Food Over The Jars

Americans have long depended on jarred baby foods for convenient feeding. In the past few years more and more processed food options have entered the children’s food market. The big brands have expanded into pre-packaged “toddler meals” and “school lunches” all in the name of helping busy parents who need things to be fast and convenient. Even for those parents with the best effort and intention, there may be times when you just can’t make or safely pack your own food. One of my clients had served her eight-month-old homemade, organic baby food from his first bite. However while traveling with her son to England; she brought a few jars of food “just in case” she ran out of fresh items on the flight. Here are some tips for buying commercially jarred foods, when you’re in a pinch.

o Opt for those with the most calories, meaning more food per unit weight.

o Look for jars of organic foods, without fillers.

o Check that the expiration date on the jar has not passed.

o Choose foods without chemicals and preservatives.

o If feeding your baby a vegetarian diet, look for the Vegetarian Society’s “V” symbol on the jar or container, to be sure it is truly vegetarian.

Benefits of Homemade russian grocery store

Babies usually triple their weight during their first year. If they are what they eat, this is the most important time to give them the best. You may not be able to give your child fresh, homemade foods everyday, but here are the benefits for you and your child when you do make the effort.

More nutritious

Homemade food is more nutritious than commercially prepared baby foods because it retains more of the nutrients, especially vitamin A and B. This is because the food is less processed. The jarring process necessitates the use of very high heat under pressure. Much more than you can generate when cooking at home. Unfortunately, many vitamins are destroyed by heat.

Some of the baby food on the market has additives and thickening agents including cornstarch, flour, chemically modified starches or “tapioca” (corn syrup, starch). This means your baby is getting less fruit and vegetables and more “filler”. Consumers are also getting less nutrition and value for your money.

More Control

By making your own food, you’ll know exactly what your child is eating. You can monitor their diet, and know which vitamins and nutrients are lacking. A study by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2002, reported that over 40% of children’s calories come from fast and processed foods. Spend your time making your own food, rather than reading and de-coding labels on processed foods.

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