Homemade vs Store Bought Baby Food
“Just talk to other people, because you’ll actually find out that things are different, for every baby and every couple.”
Whether you’re intending to make it all from scratch, or embrace the ease of store bought, there’s no right or wrong way when it comes to the food your baby eats.
As you embark on the messy and marvellous journey of weaning, we’ll try to answer some of the questions you might have about homemade baby food vs store bought. You’ll also hear from other families who have learned to follow their instincts and do what’s best for them at every mealtime.
Is store bought baby food bad for my child?
The simple answer is no1. Whilst there have been numerous discussions about how appropriate it is to feed your baby store bought food, there’s no concrete evidence to suggest that it’s ‘bad’ for your child. What’s important is that your child receives the important nutrients they need. Whether they get that from store bought or homemade baby food, you’re providing your baby with the building blocks for their future growth and development.
If you’re concerned about the contents of store bought as opposed to homemade baby food, read the list of ingredients to put your mind at rest. Make sure that you’re happy with everything that your chosen baby food contains. The good news is that there’s so much choice available. So if you’re unhappy with a particular brand, there’ll be plenty others for you to choose from.
In addition, you could consider using a mix of store bought and homemade baby food, which will help you find the perfect balance for you, your baby and your family life.
Homemade baby food vs store bought
“Take the information, but not necessarily feel judged by it all the time”.
As with all things parenting, it’s about weighing up the pros and the cons.
When it comes to homemade baby food, the biggest pro by far is the fact that you have full control over what goes into it. There’s also a lot more flexibility as you experiment with different recipes and ingredients. Ultimately, it’s cheaper, too2.
If you’re thinking about baby-led weaning homemade baby food is a great way to get your little food monster involved in the preparation. They’ll soon be familiar with all of the different foods you intend to introduce them to as you cook up a storm.
Store bought baby food has its upsides too. Parenthood can be a busy time, and the convenience that store bought baby food offers is hard to ignore. Simply pop it in your baby bag and off you go (just be sure not to forget your spoon)! Homemade baby food takes time and energy to prepare. Not to mention a whole lot of tupperware and endless freezer space! For many families, store bought baby food is the more convenient choice across the board.
Homemade baby food vs store bought: does it matter how it’s made?
This is a big question for any parent wrestling with the homemade baby food vs store bought conundrum.
Many parents worry about preservatives in store bought baby food, and it’s true that these won’t be found in homemade baby food. When you go homemade, you’re in full control when it comes to knowing exactly what your baby is eating. There’s also no getting away from the fact that store bought food is processed, which can result in its nutritional benefits being undermined3.
But for each of these downsides, there’s also an upside. The fact that homemade baby food doesn’t contain preservatives means that it doesn’t last as long. It will need to be refrigerated or frozen within hours of preparation to avoid contamination from bacteria. And whilst store bought baby food is processed, this ensures that any bacteria are killed way before your baby gets to savour every last mouthful.
Ultimately, it’s apples and oranges. And the decision is yours.
Homemade vs Store bought - fed is best
“The main thing is that they’re happy and healthy”.
The thing about parenting, is that it’s very easy to have ideas and hopes for how your particular journey is going to look. But the real adventure is taking each day as it comes and following your instincts.
Both homemade and store bought baby foods have their pros and cons. It’s about finding the balance that works for you. Ultimately, it comes down to what you want from your weaning adventure. And remember that at the end of the day, all that matters is that your baby gets the nutrition they need to grow healthily and happily.
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