The Benefits of Homemade Baby Food
Every mother wants the best for her children and no time is more important than the first few years of a baby’s life. Good nutrition is necessary to help a baby stay healthy and strong during this time of rapid growth and change. Commercial baby foods are acceptable and will provide the minimum amount of nutrition, but parents can do more for their babies. Homemade baby foods can be a healthier, more affordable option and preparing them is not as difficult as some may believe.
Made With the Best Ingredients
When you prepare a meal for your child from fresh, organic products you are able to know exactly what they are eating. There is no guesswork about the quality of the products, the water it was cooked in or blended with. Purchase fresh organic produce whenever possible, use spring water or filtered water and organic meats.
Higher Nutritional Content
Commercial baby food can sit on shelves for months. These products are still safe for consumption, but their nutritional value is degraded over time. When you make your own food, your baby will be able to have a meal, which has been freshly prepared, or only a day or two old. Commercial processing must sterilize by using temperatures, which reduce the nutritional content as well. With many homemade foods, such as soft fruits and vegetables, the consistency will be perfect for the baby to eat safely with little to no cooking.
Studies have shown that babies that are fed more nutrient-dense diets appear to be less apt to suffer from food allergies later in life. This seems to be due to the higher levels of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins they consume. Since homemade baby food should be prepared with only fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, the added chemicals and preservatives found in prepared meals are nonexistent in the diets of babies fed only homemade meals. This means their diet can be made as rich in nutrients as their bodies need to keep them healthier through childhood.
Commercial baby food is very expensive. Homemade meals are often much cheaper, even when only top-quality organic products are used. Parents can even save more money by growing as much of their own produce as their schedule and yard will allow. Food can be purchased and prepared in bulk, than instantly frozen in small portions to make it more affordable and less time-consuming. Freezing baby food in ice cube trays can make it simple to portion out and thaw at mealtime.
Larger Variety of Food Options
When you make your own meals you will be able to select whatever items you want your baby to eat. This will make it easier to expose your child to a wide array of flavors while they are still young. It will also provide them with a diverse selection of products to get their nutrition from, making their diet more complete. Commercial foods are often very limited in selection and a picky eater may decide to only accept a very small range of foods. This can make it difficult to guarantee they are getting all of the vitamins and minerals that they need.
While it may not be a concern of every parent, processed foods are harder on the environment. In addition to the energy consumed in processing plants and the vehicles used in delivery, there is also a very large amount of packaging used for a very tiny amount of food. Homemade baby food avoids all of this and it reduces the amount of waste that occurs in factories from recalls, poor product selection methods and unsold, expired products.
The Time Consideration
The time spent on making food barely needs consideration. It is possible to prepare a baby’s meals for the week at the same time you are preparing yourself a single dinner. A few extra minutes to blend, pour and freeze are needed, but these minutes are no more than what would be spent traveling to the grocery store to purchase more food and carry it back home.
Homemade baby food does not have to be the answer for everyone. Some parents are not able to find the amount of good quality products they will need or lack the time or energy to prepare the foods. There is nothing wrong with this and commercial food will keep a baby healthy and strong. But, if you are able and willing, making their meals from scratch can be an affordable and healthier choice that can help your child to develop good eating habits from the start.
Article Courtesy by SimpleRx – Prescription Discount Card