Making Your Baby Foods Vs. Buying Baby Food: Which is Right For You?
Homemade Baby Food.
Making homemade baby food is both easy and economical for many mothers. If you choose organic ingredients and produce, you’re limiting the exposure your child has to toxic residues and pesticides found on conventional produce. Start by choosing fresh, organic seasonal produce from a local store or farmers market. You’ll want to preserve the natural vitamins and minerals vegetables and fruits have by steaming, broiling or baking them. It’s also best to have a conventional style blender or food processor when beginning this homemade adventure. Grab empty ice-cube trays to store portions of food in and freeze.
After the food has been frozen, thaw the frozen portion of puree, and mash the food thoroughly, making sure all thick chunks are stirred in. If your child isn’t fond of the food by itself, add either formula or breast milk to make it more desirable. Many babies enjoy orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, but you’ll want to make sure you start with vegetables first. Try not to introduce fruits until the next week. Babies introduced fruits first, tend to spit out their veggies.
Buying Prepared Baby Food.
Many stores have options of both frozen and jarred baby foods. Frozen organic baby food takes convenience a step further by having it ready to thaw. Benefits include the exotic and mature flavors rather than bland jarred foods. Freezing foods also locks in all nutrients and natural pigments to each food. You’ll want to taste test each new brand and food flavor to make sure your child desires it.
With organic jarred baby foods are still the most popular option, but require a ton of scrutiny. You’ll want to read the labels on each jar of baby food and to make sure there are no added sugar, preservatives, starches, and other dangerous fillers. The highest percentage of the jar is the ingredients labeled first. The food to water ratio is an important ratio to check because it affects the amount of nutrients contained in each jar. Look at each baby food company and compare the ingredients with one another to find the jar with the most calories (more food per unit weight). Check the expiration date on the jars as well; grocers have a tendency to leave spoiled items on the shelf longer than they should be.