Baby Food is extremely important for the toddlers as it is an integral part of making their immune systems as strong as possible. One of the main features of Baby Food is it’s nutritional content as it is the primary source of the essential vitamins and minerals that the babies will acquire all the year round.
Majorly consisting of fresh ingredients, baby food is designed to aid the physical and mental development of kids. It is arguably better to prepare baby food at home as it is both cheaper, much more fresh, nutritious and eco-friendly, than it’s store-bought counterparts.
|Benefits of Baby Food||Drawbacks of Baby Food|
|Provided nutrition to the baby||Storing Baby Food is a huge task|
|Baby food is less processed than other foods||Everything needs to be absolutely clean|
|It is very cost effective||Figuring out portion sizes is difficult|
|Has a lot of variety in taste and texture||Food Allergies can happen any time|
|Helps to reduce the number of fussy eaters||Baby Food needs to be prepared separately|
|Baby food is simple and quick to prepare|
|Helps to wean babies off breast milk|
|They teach babies Healthy Eating Habits|
Advantages of Baby Food
- Nutrition :
Baby foods contain fresh and seasonal ingredients that help in making the immune system of the babies stronger, as they contain essential vitamins and minerals that babies need all through the year. In case the food is prepared at home, the food can be prepared at lower temperatures, than the jarred versions, thus preserving more of the necessary nutrients.
- Processing :
Owing to the fact that it is baby food, less processing goes into it’s preparation, making it healthier. Often other types of food are thickened by using different ingredients like starches so that they are preserved and get bulked up. However baby food contains none of this and is mostly prepared fresh, filled with goodness, especially when homemade.
- Cost Effective :
Often foods are given different flavours and textures in order to please the whims of the customers, even if it costs more. However, with baby food, the main focus is packing the maximum amount of nutrition. That means only the cost of fresh ingredients. Babies do not care for any fancy decoration or any particular flavour for their food.
- Variety :
Baby Foods consists of fresh seasonal vegetables, herbs, etc. So, with every change in season there will be a change in the food, being prepared for the babies. This is even more prominently in homemade baby food. The seasonal produce coupled with the alternating herbs and spices makes even the same recipe taste a little different each time.
- No more Fussy Eaters :
Having fresh seasonal produce all the time and with season changes leading to a variety of different foods and tastes of the same food, babies will not find the food bland/dull and thus will not complain much. Introducing a baby to an array of different foods along with textures helps in avoiding fussy eaters and/or food phobias.
- Preparation :
Preparing food for babies, saves not only time but also effort. In case you are doing it at home you can simply put up a blitzed version of whatever fresh foods you were having and you’re done. Since the ingredients are simply fresh vegetables, herbs, etc. and there are no complex recipes, preparation is simple and quick.
- Breast Milk :
Often babies are seen wanting breast milk beyond the time stipulated by the doctor as necessary for the baby. In these situations baby food can be a real godsend, as the fresh flavours and goodness of the baby food slowly helps in weaning the baby off the breast milk and more interested in solid food.
- Eating Habits :
Baby Foods, especially the ones that are almost wholly made up of fresh vegetables and herbs, teach the babies the goodness of fresh nutritional ingredients from a very early age. As they start growing their own likes and dislikes about food, they have already been taught a host of healthy eating habits.
Disadvantages of Baby Food
- Storage :
The biggest factor of baby foods is that they need to be fresh. So storing baby foods is a huge challenge. Fresh seasonal vegetables, herbs and spices, etc. can turn stale very quickly and not only lose all of their nutritional qualities but also become harmful for the baby. They will require constant refrigeration to ensure they remain edible.
- Clean :
Even though the preparation processes of baby food are quite simple and quick, they are definitely not easy. You have to constantly keep a check that the utensils that are being used, the ingredients, etc. are all absolutely clean and tidy. In case they are even a bit dirty, the baby can fall very sick.
- Portions :
The food portions can take some time to figure out. In case you are preparing them yourself you might have to do it in very small batches, which then loses it’s cost effectiveness. Also, in case there is any excess it needs to be preserved well and the next time you will need to prepare an even smaller portion.
- Food Allergies –
Since you have almost no idea the allergies that your baby has, whether the food has been prepared at home, or it is store-bought, your baby can have allergies to one of the ingredients in the food. Only thing to do is record the ingredients in the foods and make sure the baby has no allergic reaction later.
- Separate :
Owing to the fact that their bodies have not yet fully developed, babies cannot be given all of the same foods as adults. That means that most of the time their foods need to be prepared completely separate from the others. Also their foods have high nutritional requirements, which means using separate ingredients most of the time.
So these pros and cons mentioned above, have been discussed in detail to give you a better idea about baby food and how you may want to give it to your kids. Even though baby food has it’s own set of problems, it is undeniably a very important part of a child’s development and needs to be given to the baby.