As with every topic in parenting, some people are ardent homemade baby food makers while others adhere to store-bought. Here are the benefits of each:
benefits of homemade baby food
Full control over ingredient list. You get to put in exactly what you want to feed your baby and leave out what you don’t want her to eat.
Ability to modify texture. As your baby gets better and better at moving food around in his mouth, you can give him increasingly more challenging food textures. You can start with a runny puree, then a thicker puree, then a mashed mixture, to a minced mixture, to finger foods! Storebought food comes in two textures: a)puree or b)puree with chunks. Option B is actually very challenging for babies. Since they are just learning how to manage textures, having a mixed texture in the mouth can be very confusing. You’ll often see babies pick the chunks of food out of their mouth and look at them in a perplexed manner.
Save money. Those little jars and pouches can definitely add up in price! By using regular, everyday foods, you can make the same foods for your baby.
Convenience. Some of the foods that you are feeding yourself or the rest of your family can be easily modified to work for your baby, too! Depending on what stage your baby is at, you can buy a handheld food mill or simply mash food with a fork. Or, you can borrow from the Baby Led Weaning movement and give your baby some save handheld foods to gnaw/suck on.
Endless Options. As long as it’s a safe and healthy option for baby, you can serve her nearly any food in the world! The more exposure a child has to a food or flavour, the more likely he is to learn to enjoy it. Exposing babies to a wide variety of flavours early on can help to prevent picky eating.
benefits of store-bought baby food
Convenience. It’s arguably a lot easier to crack open a jar or pouch and feed your baby then to cook and prepare dedicated baby food.
Great for travel. Homemade baby food needs to be kept in the fridge or freezer until fed to baby. An insulated lunchbag with an icepack will only keep food safe for a few hours. You can keep sealed jars and pouches at room temperature until you open and feed your baby.
You might choose to go with all homemade baby food or all storebought. Or you may decide to go with both, depending on the situation. But there’s one babyfood that should not be given as a homemade version and that’s iron-fortified infant cereal.