Initially when I started feeding solid foods to my daughter, I started with Jar Foods. As a new mom and a first baby, I had no idea of what to cook and how to cook baby food at home. For me, jar food was an easy way out. But after few weeks of introduction to solids, my daughter was more interested in the food I ate, then what was served to her. So I did some research on how to cook baby food, what to make and how to store it. I liked the idea of making baby food, but not about storing it for long time. I was more inclined to making baby food in small quantities so that it was fresher. I usually cook every day, so making food for my little one was not much of a problem. I went through every bit of information on what is ok for the baby to eat in each month, and what can be added to improve its flavor. Once I had all the required information I started experimenting. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed her food. Through this trip from only jar food to home cooked fresh meals, I learned few things.
Once I decided on cooking baby food at home, right from bringing produce to serving it to my daughter was under my control. I knew what was going in my daughter’s tummy and how helpful it will be for her. From choosing fresh organic vegetables- fruits and cooking them with different herbs, was all known and planned by me. The cooking technique used too affected the quality of the food, so using the technique that would retain maximum nutrients was again under my control. I knew the kind of food texture my baby liked. Making food according to her wish and getting a delighted smile after each meal, made all that hard work worthwhile.
Less exposure to preservatives:
“We” (parents) know very well that baby food does contain preservatives. It does not say if the vegetables or fruits used in making the jar food are organic or not. If you buy an organic jar food version, then it’s a different story, but again you really have no idea what has gone in that jar of peas and how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. I have fed my little one with jar food and still do at times, but only the Organic version, where I know everything in the jar is most of the time free of pesticides and almost zero preservatives.
Making baby food at home saves more money than buying baby food. According to an article published on ‘How stuff works website‘, Fifty cents for a jar of baby food doesn’t seem like much, but a 2.5-ounce (71-gram) jar of chicken, beef or ham costs twice as much as fruits or vegetables. As your baby grows, he or she will eat more solid food at each feeding. The baby food jars get bigger and up to three times more expensive. By the time U.S. infants reach 12 months of age, they’ve consumed about 600 jars of baby food. That’s a minimum cost of $300. By comparison, you can prepare a wide variety of fresh baby food at home for your child’s second six months of life for around $55 total.
By serving home cooked food, I had much more variety to offer to my baby. Both in terms of flavor, texture and smell. I could make combinations of various fruits, vegetables, grains and lentils, and end up with a nutritious meal. So every day it was a different recipe and a new meal.
Have you ever tasted the jar food that we feed to our babies, anytime? If not then do give it a try. No wonder my baby stopped having those. Most of the time jar food have preservatives which give it a wired smell and taste. I felt bad that I was feeding her something that was tasteless and with no flavors at all. Each and every vegetable or fruit have it own distinct flavor and aroma. When it gets cooked, those flavors get released. These flavors and aromas are at their best when they are freshly cooked and served. When I gave my baby freshly cooked baby purees, she liked what she ate. Due to that, she was ready to experiment with her palate. She gave every food a try, which made my job of feeding her easier.
All the above-mentioned points got me hooked, to cook food for my daughter at home. It was and still is a bit of extra work though, but it’s very satisfying me for and my baby. Especially when she give me a satisfied grin after each meal. So, next time before picking up a jar food for your baby, try making your own baby food first. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
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