Should I make or buy baby food?
Here are our favorite considerations to answer the very popular question ‘should i make or buy baby food’. Remember there is no right answer for everyone. Want to talk to a nutrition expert to help figure out a first foods plan? Talk to a coach.
SHOULD I MAKE BABY FOOD?
You already cook
For example, if you make a stew for you, your baby can eat some of the blended broth, meat and mashed carrots. It’s possible for you to cook only one meal from day one. In fact, we encourage it!
You have an open mind
You are ready to have your baby explore some food combinations you may think are weird. Babies love sweet foods, so you have the opportunity mix in bitter food. They won’t know that asparagus and apple sauce puree is weird! You have the opportunity to fully customize what your baby eats.
You need control
That’s OK! If you make baby food you have all the control. Once your baby gets into the swing of eating you can change the textures of his or her favorite combinations. It’s a great way to keep lots of variety. If your baby doesn’t like the food, try to blend it a bit more and try again.
Local and seasonal foods are important to you
If you are committed to shop local and seasonal consider making baby food. Again, having a baby will not change your behavior here, but your baby can eat local and seasonal just like you do. All baby food in some way is processed, so the food is most likely not coming from a local farm, picked last week.
You want to save some money.
Cooking baby food will end up being cheaper.
You’re ready to explore new foods, too!
If you make your own baby food you have a great reason to try new foods. We all get into food ruts. Think of vegetables you just don’t eat anymore. Maybe it’s green beans or mushrooms? You and your family have the chance to try food with a fresh perspective. Remember you have until baby turns 1 to introduce as many textures and flavors you can. This is a proven strategy to reduce picky eating later in life.
You are ready to use your freezer
Some people just do this naturally. For others, making a plan is stressful. For example, if you have leftovers or want to make a puree batch, you can freeze it for later in an ice cube tray. This is great for those nights where you just don’t know where the day went.
You have all you need
Watch out for baby food maker contraptions. You probably don’t need to buy anything new if you have a blender, a roast pan and something you steam things in. Remember you’ll only need purees for a few months. Want to see our favorite things? Check out our shop.
SHOULD I BUY BABY FOOD?
These days there are so many baby food options out there online and in the store. Some are subscriptions so they just keep sending you food. You can find a combo of companies and products that fit you and your baby’s needs. Here are some tips on what to look for.
Read the ingredient list
If it a carrot puree, please check that carrot is listed as the first ingredient.
What about additives?
If the food is shelf stable there will be additives. There are over 10,000 that are registered as safe by the FDA.
When you and your baby are just getting started, go for the beginning stage. This is more pureed, but the flavor combos are limited. Check out the Foublie article taking on: should you wait 3-5 days before giving your baby a new food?
Hint: You can mix 2 kinds of purees together if you want to.
You can keep the food if it has been opened for up to 3 days. But only if you have used a clean spoon to get the puree out when you go for that jar again. If you feed from the jar, throw it out.
We recommend finding glass if you can. For plastic, watch out for BPA and BPS. The AAP recommends avoiding recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) unless plastics are labeled as “biobased” or “greenware,” which means they are made from corn and do not contain bisphenols.
Can you recycle the jars?
Something to consider here, as the average family buys 600 baby food containers in the first year.
Choose some options that are savory
Some studies report a bias to fruits and veggies that are sweet and not bitter tastes. It’s important your baby gets both.
Don’t pay extra for good marketing
If it’s expensive it doesn’t mean it is ‘better’.
Go for a combo
In case this isn’t obvious, you can do a bit a both!
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