Compare the pros and cons of shop-bought and homemade baby foods
Homemade Baby Food V's Shop Bought
When you have a baby and the time comes when you need to start thinking about weaning, you will find yourself receiving a lot of well meaning advice from lots different people of “do this” or “do that”. I would advise any parent to always do what they think is best and don’t feel pressured to follow people’s opinions (even if it is your own mother!) on the whole debate of homemade versus shop bought baby food.
Below is a list of the pros and cons on both choices so you can gather your thoughts before you make up your own mind and begin the weaning with your ever growing bundle.
Homemade Baby Food Pros
- Cheaper than jars in the long run, however the outlay at first will be more expensive than buying a jar or two of baby food.
- You know exactly what your child is eating, and can experiment with different flavours and tastes. Instead of typical jar recipes.
- The meals you make for all the family can be made into puree for your child, just leave out salt and seasonings until your child’s portion is set aside.
- There are many local vegetable shops that have an array of vegetables and fruits, including organic fresh produce. Making your own food you can monitor what your child likes or dislikes and take out a vegetable or add one in if they have a certain favourite or hate!
Homemade Baby Food Cons
- It takes time to make and organise into different pots or ice cube trays. It can take from 2-3 hours to boil and puree up vegetables/fruit, so best do it when you have spare time or when baby is settled.
- It needs to be stored in the fridge or freezer, therefore takes up space. If frozen the food needs to be thawed so not as quick if you forget to defrost the food!!
- It goes off much quicker than ready-made baby food and may not be safe to carry fresh baby food all day in your changing bag on a hot day.
Pros of Shop Bought Food
- Don’t need to be refrigerated till opened, for that reason they are easy to travel around with if you out of the house all day. It is so handy just snapping open a jar when your baby is hungry!
- They are very convenient and can be bought easily in any supermarket. You can also get them while abroad if on holiday, so you never have to worry about keeping a large stock at home.
- There are a good range of different flavours and a variety of vegetable and fruit concoctions with organic options available now too.
Cons of Shop Bought Food
- When all added up they eventually are dearer then home-made food and that all adds up when baby needs new shoes!
- They have a different texture or smell and can look and taste not as appetizing as home-made food. However some children love the fruity jars (I’d even eat them myself. Yum!).
- You don’t know exactly what is in the food and nutrients may be lost due to added preservatives.
- Can be harder to wean a child from shop bought jars to family meals when they have gotten used to a certain taste or smell.
There is always the option of doing a combination both (which is what I do). I dedicate one week a month to making as much food as I can for that month. I find that if I spend an hour each night that week, I am able to have plenty for my baby. I also buy some food so that I can have my baby try new foods without committing a bunch of time to making it myself. That also allows me to have jars when I am out and about.
Best of luck and happy weaning!
Written by Emma, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ