Breastfeeding is the best time for babies and mothers. The babies get the most natural food they must have for healthy growth. Mothers don’t have to worry what to feed their babies. It is true that the incessant feedings and the complete dependence of the baby on the mother can be at times tiring and also a little uncomfortable but mothers of toddlers and slightly grownup babies know the pain of trying to feed solid foods to their kids. The gamut of choice and the lack of choice, the preference of the baby and the consciousness of impacts on health make it very complicated.
There is no dearth of baby foods out there. Dozens of companies make scores of foods for babies of different age groups. But many mothers are concerned if those are the healthiest choices. The debate over homemade baby food advantages and disadvantages cannot be equated with instant noodles or microwave dinners. The latter have been proven to be considerably unhealthy. Packaged baby food is not unsafe so the debate is not that simple. Homemade baby food is certainly more desirable for obvious reasons. Let us explore the homemade baby food advantages and disadvantages.
List of Advantages of Homemade Baby Food
1. Complete Control
With homemade baby food mothers know exactly what they are feeding their child. Whether it is rice or potatoes, fish or a fruit, mothers can decide what food to use, which ingredients to use to cook the food, how to cook it, how to serve it and also the quantity of the food that one must make. This completely sense of awareness and control is certainly desirable. No mother or father wants to be uncertain of the foods they would feed their kids. Homemade recipes are often passed down from one generation to another. Knowing that one has grown up well on such foods gives the assurance that the kid will also get equally nutritious and safe meals.
2. Rich in Nutrition
Nutrition is really a key difference between homemade baby food and packaged foods. There are many brands that make nutritious baby food but the nutrients are still richer in homemade recipes. Most packaged foods for babies are cooked in mediums subjected to very high heat. The very high heat is necessary to kill the bacteria. Not all bacteria are bad but they would spoil the food. To enhance the longevity or shelf life, companies are compelled to use high heat. Although the loss of bacteria is not concerning, the nutrients in the ingredients are lost when subjected to the high heat. At home, one doesn’t have to worry about as long a shelf life as companies. Hence, one doesn’t need the high heat, thereby preserving the nutrients. Feeding the child some food is not about ensuring calories but assuring the nutrients for optimum health and growth. The immune system will only get strengthened if the foods are rich in essential nutrients.
3. More Affordable
Homemade baby foods would always be more affordable than packaged foods or prepackaged meals. You can choose the produce you want, you can use your own produce perhaps from your organic garden, you can buy local and you can use seasonal produce. The costs will reduce dramatically when you make your own homemade baby food. Packaged foods may have some discounts from time to time or you may have special offers. Yet, they will remain more expensive.
4. Desirably Personalized
Homemade baby food can focus more on purees. Instead of a mishmash of a recipe or any meal that may have a dozen ingredients but no one is sure in what quantity, mothers can combine the foods they want and ensure a super nutritious meal. Packaged foods also limit the choices in terms of flavors or taste. The high heat ruins the natural taste of the foods used and the flavors are often artificial. Although safe and palatable in many cases, parents want to choose what kind of taste they wish a particular dish to possess when feeding a child.
List of Disadvantages of Homemade Baby Food
1. Limited Choices
Homemade baby food is entirely subjected to what is available in a place. Many regions across the country don’t have enough varieties of produce available in the local markets. Produce sourced from distant regions will be processed and they may not be completely safe or desirably nutritious. It is better to have more choices in the packaged foods category.
2. Inconvenient & Tedious
Cooking homemade baby food can be tiring. If both parents are working and there is no help at hand, then this is a tedious endeavor. Many mothers choose to cook in large batches and store the same according to the servings at different times of the day and night over several days. But then storage becomes a concern. It is also very likely that you would run out of recipes and your kids may not like what you would cook for them.