Starting to feed your baby solid foods at around 6 months of age is an exciting time! When you start feeding your baby solid foods, you may think about whether homemade baby food is better than purchasing it from the store. Both of these are good options, but you may want to think about the following when considering which you will choose:
Reasons why parents choose to buy baby food:
- You can save time by purchasing baby food because you do not need to cook, mash, and store it.
- You can purchase pureed fruits and vegetables that may not be available fresh or in season.
- The food can be easily carried in your purse or bag because it is prepackaged and ready to serve.
- Store bought baby food usually does not need refrigerated until you open it.
Reasons why parents choose to make their own baby food:
- You get to choose the foods to feed your baby rather than choosing from what is available in the store.
- Your baby gets used to eating the same foods and flavors that the rest of your family eats and there is more variety.
- It may be less expensive, but it does take extra time to make and safely store homemade baby food.
- Homemade baby food is more earth friendly because you are not throwing away baby food containers.
If you decide to make your own baby food, remember that homemade foods can spoil more quickly and need to be refrigerated or frozen. You can find more information about how to prepare and safely store baby food at https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/homemade_babyfood.html
Whether you decide to make your own or purchase baby food, it is important to start healthy eating habits early. You can do this by providing your baby with a variety of foods and textures, sharing mealtimes with your baby, and being a role model by choosing healthy foods and beverages!
- Do’s and Don’ts for Baby’s First Foods: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/eating-as-a-family/dos-and-donts-for-babys-first-foods
- From the Jar or Blender: Which Baby Food is Best? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/11/from-the-jar-or-blender-which-baby-food-is-best/
- Homemade vs. Store-Bought Baby Food: https://riseandshine.childrensnational.org/homemade-vs-store-bought-baby-food/