There is a lot to decide when it comes to the food you give your baby. I’ve broken down the Pros and Cons to buying and making baby food to help you with the choice.
Although, my daughter is now four I was passionate about every decision I made in regards to the products I used on her to the products she ate. I’ve since loosened up but making baby food was one of my favorite things I did. I spent every other Sunday making her food and as she got older I attempted snacks as well. A lot of people have asked me through the years about my experiences with making my daughters food, and I think this is one area in life I feel very educated on since I did a lot of research.
First off, let me start by saying I don’t care if you make or buy baby food. The reason I decided to make baby food was to compensate for the fact I didn’t breastfeed for very long. I felt like it was my way of having a bond with my daughter. I don’t think it makes me a better parent, and I will never judge a person’s decision either way.
The Pros To Making Baby Food
- The main reason I decided to make baby food is so I could control the ingredients that went into the food. I could avoid preservatives and any other ingredients her young body didn’t need.
- I made about 90% of her food using only organic fruits and vegetables which were cheaper than buying baby food in the store. For example, I could purchase a bag of fresh organic carrots and fresh broccoli on sale for 99 cents each. I could make around two weeks worth of food for her. The same cost for one jar or pouch was around $1.29.
- I have the opportunity to try different recipes that may not be available for purchase.
The Cons To Making Baby Food:
- It’s time-consuming. To make baby food you have to wash and prep the food, steam the food, which can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, and then puree it. It’s a process and a time commitment depending on what kind of blender you have. I tend to make a lot of food at once, so I don’t have to do it as often.
- The containers don’t hold a lot. I’ve tried about five different types of baby food containers, and they never hold enough food.
- If you make food, they can only be in the fridge for a few days. However, you can have them in the freezer for about a month.
- The food isn’t as convenient especially if you have to wait to let them defrost. With jarred food, you can pop it open and eat immediately, but homemade baby food has to be typically heated up.
- If you don’t already have a steamer or blender, it can get expensive to purchase those products.
Next, I’d like to explore the pros and cons to buying baby food. Although I made the majority of my daughter’s food, I also bought some jars or pouches for times when we would be away from our house for extended periods.
The Pros to buying baby food:
- It’s convenient.
- There are a lot of flavors, especially at Target. They offer a ton of brands with a lot of unique flavors.
- It can last for months
- No microwaving required
- Baby food has been around forever, so I would assume it’s safe, although these days I probably shouldn’t.
- There are coupons to help keep the price down
The Cons to buying baby food:
- Per glass jar or pouch, it’s expensive.
- Some baby food includes artificial ingredients
At the end of the day your child is not going to care if you bought or made their food and as long as they are being fed and loved that’s all that matters!
Just another little section I thought I’d include is some research I did when learning about various brands of baby food.
Please pay attention to the ingredients and be educated on the brands you are buying. Often companies that seem small and independent have been bought out by larger corporations.
I tend to buy more organic brands that do not use a lot of artificial ingredients or ingredients I’m unable to pronounce. Some of this researched surprised me.
First off, buying products that are Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) is important to me. I’m happy to report that all of the listed companies offer Non-GMO baby food options which is fantastic. The Non-GMO Project is a website for consumers to find out which brands are verified as Non-GMO
More about the top brands of baby food:
Earth’s Best: They are owned by Hain Celestial group which also owns a lot of popular organic brands such as Garden of Eating, Health Valley, WestSoy, Soy Dreams, Rice Dreams, Alba Botanica, Avalon Organics and Celestial Seasonings.
Gerber: Did you know Gerber controls 83% of the baby food market? Gerber is also the oldest company in the baby food industry. They are a subsidiary of Nestle, which also owns Lean Cuisine, Juicy Juice, DiGorno Pizza, Hot Pockets, and Dryer’s ice cream. Nestle is known for their processed foods.
Beech-Nut: Is owned by a Swiss company named Hero Group. The only brand of their’s I’m familiar with is Organix.
Plum Organics: In 2013 Plum was sold to Campbells to help their brand and provide a wider range of products to customers. I read on their website the caps to their pouches are recyclable which is an added perk to me.
I hope all this information helps the baby food conversation seem less overwhelming. The most important thing is your child is eating and getting the required nutrients.
Next time, I will be sharing some of my favorite tips for buying and making baby food.
If you have any questions about making baby food, please let me know!