Tips for Health

Healthy baby food: buy it or make it?

By on January 21, 2013 in Health with 0 Comments

Many babies who are formula fed grow up to be perfectly healthy adults, but there is very strong evidence that baby foods in those little glass jars are too high in sodium and full of added sugar.  While neither may be an immediate problem for the baby, these so-called “inexpensive palate-pleasers” can lead to problems later in life.

It seems so unlikely that what you feed your infant will affect their healthy twenty, forty, sixty years later, but a child who early on develops a taste for sweet and/or salty foods runs the risk of serious health problems: too much sugar leads to obesity, dental problems and diabetes while too much salt leads to hypertension, or high blood pressure, and the associated risk of heart attack or stroke.

Not every jar of baby food is a ticking time bomb, but it is necessary to read the labels very carefully. Do not feed your baby anything that has unpronounceable ingredients. Pureed peas, and nothing but pureed peas, are fine.  Ditto pears or carrots.  They certainly are a convenience and besides, how else are you going to get the jars in which to store the food you prepare at home?

The first thing to do is to take a close look at the way you eat.  Your child’s eating habits will mirror yours, so you need to make sure you eat well.  Then consult your pediatrician about age-appropriate foods, and buy a blender.  When you prepare vegetables for the older members of the family, put some aside to be pureed for baby.

By preparing baby food at home, you are able to provide a balanced diet, made up of the foods that your family enjoys. This can greatly reduce the “eat your vegetables or no dessert syndrome” because baby will be used to them.  And remember, the very best “home-made” baby food is breast milk.


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