Baby food: Homemade or store-bought?

Since you are new to the world of solid baby food, you might be wondering whether you should prepare the purees at home or get the ready-to-eat jars from the supermarket. The truth is that there is no right answer; you can do both and even combine these two options. To prepare food at home is a wonderful way to feed your baby, because it presents food in its freshest form. However, sometimes it seems like an impossible task.

If you have the opportunity to prepare your baby’s food at home, you’ll know exactly each ingredient that’s in it and you’ll begin to get your baby used to your family’s meals (but in its pureed version). Now, it is not always feasible to prepare pureed meals every day, so a good technique is to choose one “cooking” day and prepare lots of different recipes and freeze them. Therefore, you can only defrost one portion at a time and save the rest for later. This can be very time effective and cheaper than buying ready-to-eat jars from the supermarket, but it does require time, organization, and preparation. Preparing food at home requires absolute hygiene; make sure you keep all the utensils and equipment very clean. If you lack the time or culinary inspiration, there is no problem with buying baby food at the supermarket; you only need to ensure that:

• It is made with natural food.

• It doesn’t contain sugar or sugar substitutes.

• It has low or no sodium.

• It doesn’t contain preservatives.

Most baby food you’ll find in the supermarket is of excellent quality; just check that they meet the requirements stated above. Buying baby food in the supermarket offers a convenient and very practical way of storage. Likewise, it’s a huge help anytime you don’t have food and are traveling or out for a walk. With this in mind, pediatricians recommend that you feed your baby with ready-to-eat jars occasionally, to get him used to the taste, and to prevent him from rejecting it when it is the only option for food. On the other hand, if you always buy your baby food, every now and then try to give him homemade food in order to get your baby used to eating homemade food with your family.

As final advice, serve the portion of food your little one will eat in a separate dish to prevent contamination of the food that he did not eat. That way, you can store the remaining food in the refrigerator for 48 hours and use it for another meal.

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