Once you start weaning your little one, it's a good time for you to consider homemade baby food.
Between the 5th and the 6th months, you will probably introduce the first solids into your baby's diet, what is also known as weaning. And that's when you'll have to decide if you want to make your own baby food or buy it instead.
From Captain Mums, we would like you to evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of making baby food over deciding to go get a jar of food for your munchkin at the grocery store. Pay attention to the next article and find out which option would be better to provide your child with the healthiest and most balanced meals.
Homemade baby food: A rewarding effort
The time when you fed your baby exclusively with milk is over, so you need to get ready and plan a little bit ahead. Making baby food from scratch, like mashed fruits or vegetables, could be a good way to start, as your baby gets familiar with the new textures and flavours. Besides, there’s no secret on how to make baby food: just boiling and mixing it with a blender!
But why should you 'invest' in homemade baby food? Well, here are some of its advantages:
- It includes fresh food, an important plus
- You know exactly the ingredients that it is made of
- Definitely, homemade baby food is a cheaper option. You can always make extra and keep the leftovers in the fridge or in the freezer, for instance.
- While making baby food, you can make sure it doesn't have added salt and sugar
- You can be more creative, making the baby get used to the 'family food' step by step and over time
Unfortunately, all the glitters is no gold when it comes to homemade baby food. It can have inconveniences, such as:
- It requires some time and effort, even if it's easy to make. Get your liquidiser ready!
- Depending on your choices, the food may not be as nutritious as you think
- You'll have to plan and think of the meals better
- It also requires good hygiene
Store-bought food: Comfortable, but less reliable
What about store-bought food? This is definitely an alternative that comes in handy for new mums, who are always busy and attached to their babies. But how good is it, really?
These are the main strengths of choosing store-bought food:
- Comfortable in many situations, especially when you are running out of time. They are also easy to carry.
- It has good quality standards, following a reliable hygienic process
- Babies tend to like it more, since its flavour is tested and it is homogeneous
However, in this case there are more disadvantages if you compare it with homemade baby food:
- Store-bought food is way more expensive
- You don't know for sure which ingredients it is made of and their proportion. That could become an issue, in case your baby has some kind of allergy or intolerance
- It contains preservatives and extra additives to make it more flavourful Sometimes, these can trigger allergies in the baby.
- It's generally less varied than if you decide to make your own baby food
- It’s more culturally homogenised, that is, it doesn’t quite adapt the cooking traditions of each specific country.
After all, the ultimate decision is yours. In general, homemade baby food stands out as the best option, because it's more natural and controlled by you. Of course, that also depends on the amount of effort your are ready to make or how much time you have: the day has only 24 hours and making baby food from scratch could be a lot for working mums! Give it a try: cook, look for new recipes, try to balance the meals. If you do so, you'll save money and you'll avoid unexpected problems, like the baby's intolerance to some food. On the contrary, if your time is limited and you are not on a budget, store-bought food is also a solid way to feed your little one. Again, it's a matter of priorities!