Initially when I started feeding solids to my daughter, I started with Jar Foods. I used Earth’s Best Organic varieties. As a new mom and first baby, I had no idea on what to make and how to make baby food at home. For me jar food was an easy way out. But after few weeks of introduction to solids, she was more interested in the food I ate, then what was served to her. So I did some research on how to cook baby food, what to make and how to store. I liked the idea of making baby food, but not about storing it for long time. I was more stuck to making baby food in small quantities so that it was more fresh. I usually cook everyday, so making food for my little one was not much of a problem. I went through every bit of information on what is ok for the baby to eat in each month, and what can be added to improve its flavor. Once I had all the required information I started experimenting. My daughter enjoyed every bit of food that was served to her. Through this trip from only jar food to home cooked fresh meals, I have learned few things.
Once I decided on cooking baby food at home, right from bringing produce to serving it to my daughter was under my control. I knew what was going in my daughter’s tummy and how helpful it will be for her. From choosing fresh organic vegetables and fruits and cooking them with different herbs, was all known and planed by me. The cooking technique used too affected the quality of the food, so using the technique that would retain maximum nutrients was again under my control. I knew the kind of food textured my baby liked. Making food according to her wish and getting a satisfied grin after each meal, made all that hard work worth while.
Less exposure to preservatives:
"We" (parents) know very well that baby food does contain preservatives. Those long words which we can hardly pronounce in ingredients section on jar food, are the ones that are used to extend shelf life. They are preservatives. Further it does not say if the vegetables or fruits used in making the jar food is organic or not. If you buy an organic jar food version, then its a different story, but again you really have no idea what has gone in that jar of peas and how long its been sitting on the shelf. I have fed my little one with jar food and still do at times, but only the Organic version, where I know everything in the jar is most of the time free of pesticides and almost zero preservatives.
Making baby food at home saves more money than buying baby food. According to an article published on 'How stuff works website', Fifty cents for a jar of baby food doesn't seem like much, but a 2.5-ounce (71-gram) jar of chicken, beef or ham costs twice as much as fruits or vegetables. As your baby grows, he or she will eat more solid food at each feeding. The baby food jars get bigger and up to three times more expensive. By the time U.S. infants reach 12 months of age, they've consumed about 600 jars of baby food. That's a minimum cost of $300. By comparison, you can prepare a wide variety of fresh baby food at home for your child's second six months of life for around $55 total.
By serving home cooked food, I had much more variety to offer to my baby both in terms of flavor, texture and smell. I could make combinations of various fruits, vegetables, grains and lentils, and end up with a nutritious meal. So everyday it was a different recipe and a new meal.
All the above mentioned points got me stuck to cook food for my daughter at home. It is a bit of extra work though, but its very satisfying me for and my baby. Especially when I see a satisfied look on her face after each meal. This is what I learned from my journey of jar food to home cooked food. What did you learn from your home cooked baby food experience.
This post was originally published at www.easybabymeals.com
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