The benefits of homemade baby food seem apparent to us involved with this program, but may not be so obvious to new parents who are faced with the daunting task of introducing solid food to baby for the first time. After all, the jarred food is found on the baby aisle at the grocery store. It seems like that’s where you’re supposed to get it from, right? Well, if you take a few minutes to consider all of the health and economic benefits of making your own, you may find yourself in the produce section instead of the baby aisle when the time comes.
Long Term advantages
- You control what goes into your baby’s food. There are no extra additives, seasonings or preservatives.
- The earlier healthy eating habits are introduced and re-enforced the more likely it would be for your child to make wise choices in the future.
- Preparing home-made baby food can help the entire family make wiser food choices.
- The groundwork you lay at this phase of your child’s life will make it easier at the next stage to continue healthy eating for the whole family.
- When fresh vegetables and fruits are a part of your baby’s diet, it will be easy to make these items a regular part of family mealtime.
A Healthier Baby
- Giving your baby food made from fresh fruits and vegetables increases the vitamins and nutrients in the diet. Canning and processing can eliminate these vitamins and nutrients.
- Your baby will react to the stonger tastes, smells and colors of homemade foods. Cooking food at home can maximize the outstanding color, texture and taste of the food.
- Serving fresh or even fresh-frozen baby food to your baby can help them be more open to tasting new flavors as they grow older (babies respond to taste, color and smell).
- Home-prepared baby food allows for a better variety of foods and a more balanced diet. As your baby grows you can add herbs and seasonings and combine flavors to make mealtime stimulating.
- Early and repeated exposure to a variety of foods like fruits and vegetables has been shown to increase children’s taste for them.
Time and Financial Savings
- Today’s convenient storage containers and food processors make preparing baby food easier than ever.
- Many of our family recipes have fresh fruit and vegetable ingredients that can be removed and prepared just for baby before other ingredients are added, making one recipe good for the entire family.
- Parents can spend over $300 on processed food the during their infant’s first year of life. On the average, home-prepared baby food can cost around $55 for one year.
- Grocery store weekly sale circulars often have a variety of fruits and vegetables on special that can be used in making your baby’s meals.
- Buying seasonal vegetable and fruits can be more economical than buying items that are out of season.
- Check out local co-ops and farmers’ markets. These can be a wonderful source of fresh and inexpensive fruits and vegetables.