When I was pregnant I had never even considered making my baby's food until a friend mentioned something about it. To be honest, I had never even considered it to be a possibility. I mean, isn't that what Gerber is for? Yet, here I am a baby food making fool and today I am here to share some of the reasons why I think it's cool.
- You know exactly what goes into it. This is the obvious reason for most people. Whether you choose organic produce or produce grown locally by your neighbors, you know that the only thing in your baby's food is that produce. There are no artificial coloring, preservatives and no added sugar.
- It saves you money. This is a huge advantage to making your own baby food. I can spend about $1.30 on some type of fresh produce that will give me anywhere from 5-7 containers of food, whereas the same amount only gets me 1-2 containers of store bought food depending on brand/size. I saw a mother shopping one time with a toddler and she easily had about $30 worth of baby food jars (I'm guessing about a week's worth of food) and all I had for the whole week was some fresh produce that maybe cost around $10-15.
- It takes up less space. Cabinet space is very rare in many homes. Between pantry items and the never ending supply of baby bowls, sippy cups and wine glasses, there is hardly any room for a week's worth of baby food jars. I for one don't have room for 21 jars of baby food. How about you? It is much easier to make room in my freezer than my pantry.
- It actually is a bit healthier. This is for a few different reasons. First, if you purchase organic produce or even grow your own produce, you can eliminate any pesticides in your baby's food (although they do make organic baby food - yay!). Second (and the big one for me), store bought food has to be cooked at higher temps to kill any bacteria to be able to keep it on the shelves for so long. When it is cooked at these higher temps, many of the vitamins are cooked out, so the food ends up losing a bit of its vitamins and minerals. So homemade baby food actually contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Also once again, you can eliminate the chance of preservatives and anything else in there. Finally, you know exactly the environment that your food was made it.
- You can personalize the food. There are a whole range of foods that you can make yourself that you can't find on the store shelves. You can't just purchase a jar of baby avocado, yet avocado is one of the best super foods and is a great first food. Therefore, you have the ability to introduce many different fruits and veggies to baby that you may not have been able to with store bought food. You also can personalize things to their preference a bit easier.
- It can help them be less picky as older toddlers. The older your toddler gets, the more you can just puree the things you eat as a family, therefore introducing them to your food earlier. This can result in kids who are less picky and more likely to eat their greens.
- It is more eco-friendly. As a consumer, you purchase not just the "food," but the labeling, container, packaging, factory costs, etc... that went into making something that you could have made at home. You also have the option of supporting local farmers with homemade baby food.
- It is fun. I can't stress how true this one is. While sometimes you may not be in the mood to pull out the blender or baby food maker, once you start making food you love the reward that it provides. To be honest, I hate cooking, but I don't mind making baby food. I love to take my produce and come up with new things that my baby will enjoy. I also feel a since of "reward" for the small hassle of making it because I know just how good it is for baby.
Making baby food isn't for everyone. Some people just rather not bother with it and some people really may not have the time for it -- that's okay. I will say though, that if you just dedicate one good chunk of a day (like maybe a few hours on a Sunday), you'll have a week or more worth of food for baby.
While homemade baby food may be a bit healthier and have some advantages, it is not making my child a rocket scientist just because she's getting a dose more of vitamins and minerals. As a mother, you have to do what works for you. Perhaps you don't want to make any food; perhaps you make food and you buy store bought food; and perhaps you're anti store bought food.
It just all depends on you, Mama. Whether store bought or homemade, just always strive for a healthy diet for your children and you're good to go! Eliminate the processed, artificial items and strive for the fresh produce that has all the yummy goodness we need.
Taken from a Fox News article cited below:
2. It’s more nutritious.
Although store-bought food is cooked at extremely high heat to kill any bacteria, Ansel says it doesn’t kill vitamins but it might alter the mineral content. A recent study published in the journal Food Chemistry, store-bought baby food may contain less than 20 percent of the recommended levels of many minerals and micro-nutrients. Many of the store bought options also have starches, additives and preservatives, and don’t use organic ingredients, which exposes your baby to harmful pesticides.
Are you a homemade baby food maker?
Thanks for reading, Sasha