Is Making Your Own Baby Food Right for You?

No pressure here, just good advice on the next steps of your baby’s food journey. By Carolyn Land Williams, M.Ed., R.D., author of Cooking Light First Foods

Cute baby eating baby food

  • HOMEMADE BABY FOODS
    Pros:

    • Control over ingredients
    • Wider variety of foods
    • Can be made in bulk
    • Less expensive
    • Less waste
    Cons:
    • Requires preparation time and some equipment
    • Requires some storage space if making in bulk
    COMMERCIAL BABY FOODS
    Pros:
    • Quick
    • Convenient
    Cons:
    • Less control over ingredients
    • Fewer food varieties
    • Packaging waste
    • More expensive

Good nutrition is particularly important during baby’s first year for proper growth and development. But there's another reason to make sure baby eats well early in life: Infants who are taught good nutrition from the start will be one step ahead in developing healthy practices for a lifetime.

During the first year, baby’s primary source of nutrition will be breast milk or formula, but beginning at age 4 to 6 months, solid foods can be introduced. As baby’s eating capabilities expand, the kind of foods that parents offer should expand as well. It’s important to offer variety in your baby’s diet

Why make your own baby food?

Although it does require a little more planning and time in the kitchen, making your own baby food provides several benefits.

Is homemade food right for you and your baby?

Millions of children have been nourished and have thrived on store-bought baby food, and you aren’t less of a mother if you decide not to make every bite of food from scratch. There are pros and cons to both homemade and commercial foods, and only you know what is best for you and your child.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision. Maybe you start by making a few simple purees and decide it’s very easy. Or perhaps during busy weeks of balancing work with an older sibling’s soccer games, feeding baby store-bought food is the best answer for your sanity. Either way, you’ve already made an important step by carefully considering the importance of what your baby eats.

Excerpted from Cooking Light First Foods, Oxmoor House, © 2010 by Time Home Entertainment Inc.

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