Preparing Home Made Baby Foods

While reading my local newspaper, I came across an article on mothers preparing home made baby foods. The article referenced a site on preparing wholesome baby foods, which I decided to visit. The site listed several reasons for preparing home made foods. Two of the reasons listed really caught my attention. First, “You have total control over what is put into your baby’s food and you know it’s free of additives that a tiny tummy simply does not need!” I feed my daughter Gerber and Beech-Nut cereals, fruits, and vegetables until she was ready for table foods. She never acquired the taste for any of their meats. Not once did her pediatrician tell me that the foods that I was giving her was affecting her digestive system or was the cause of any of her health problems. The second reason was, “Healthy eating habits develop earlier as your involvement is dedicated to making only high quality, healthy baby foods and snacks. Your baby will benefit from these healthy eating habits long after that college diploma is in hand!” My daughter is a college graduate, and she is healthy and happy. She watches what she eats and works out regularly. I was able to achieve the same result as the mothers who are preparing home made foods. If one is able to raise a healthy and productive child using store brought products, what are the true benefits of preparing home made foods? Did you raise a Gerber or Beech Nut baby? What’s your thoughts?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Have you heard about these companies that make “home made” baby food that is fresh and organic?  Some even deliver to your home like Sprouts Baby Food Inc. in Seattle. 

    I think companies like these are cool and are great for those of us who don’t have time to make our own baby food.

  2. I’ve made 90% of my daughter’s baby food, and I’m glad I did.  It’s true that store-made baby foods do not contain additives or preservatives, especially stage 1 foods.  However, there are a couple great reasons for making your own food. 

    First and foremost is the cost!  Anything made especially for baby will cost more than “adult” food; just compare the cost of baby applesauce with “adult” applesauce.  I saved a ton of money by pureeing our own food for my daughter, which helped with us living on one income.  Even now, rather than buying Yobaby yogurt, I’ll buy whole plain yogurt and add my own pureed fruits to it; saves money and added sugar.

    Second, baby food manufacturers are not as careful as you are about high-allergy foods.  Gerber especially uses foods that are widely recommended to be kept out of a baby’s diet until she’s at least a year old, and they use them in their Stage 2 foods which are commonly introduced between 7 and 8 months.  These foods include milk products, strawberries, corn, wheat, and soy.  As a matter of fact, Gerber uses soy in their “single ingredient” cereals like rice cereal and oatmeal.  Soy’s a very common allergy food for infants, and mothers can often end up thinking their 6 month old is allergic to rice when it’s actually the soy!

    Third, manufactured baby food can be manipulated a bit to make the taste sweeter.  Gerber’s mango puree, is mango from concentrate.  It’s the difference between fresh-squeezed orange juice and orange juice from concentrate.  If your child’s raised on the concentrate and then suddenly drinks fresh-squeezed, it’s “pulpy” and less sweet.  It’s a small difference in training a palate, and frankly is the least important reason to me for making your own baby food since we all know that as much as you try to give your baby a variety of healthy foods, when she hits toddlerhood all she’ll eat is mac and cheese and cheerios anyway.

    Believe me, I’m not saying you’re a bad mom for buying jarred baby food; in fact, I bought jarred meat because it seemed safer to me than pureeing my own and possibly missing a piece of bone or something.  I’m just saying there are valid reasons for wanting to make your own.  Especially if you like cooking, making baby can be an enjoyable aspect of motherhood.