Solids foods are a big part of growing up. As a parent, it's fun watching your baby's reactions as he experiences all types of new tastes and textures. Research shows that children who are fed healthy foods early in life are more likely to carry those habits with them forever. Making baby food at home is a lot simpler than most people believe. All you need is a blender and some ice cube trays to quickly puree and freeze single-sized servings of regular food. You can make a week's worth of food in less than an hour. Here are the benefits of making your own baby food.
1. Additional Variety
Baby foods are developed for the mass market by giant manufacturers. They limit the variety of the foods they offer to the ones that are popular (so they’re purchased) and easy to produce (so their costs are reduced). However, variety is important to a balanced diet. Your local grocery store or supermarket will have a large selection of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables that should play a role in your child’s diet.
2. Lower Cost
Regardless of their simplicity, baby foods are expensive. The average baby in the United States consumes 600 jars of baby food over the course of his life. In the first year, that works out to about $300 if you bought off the shelf. By making your own baby food, however, you can reduce that first year’s cost to about $55. If you’re a budget-watcher, that’s a big savings.
3. More Control
As a parent, you want to understand and trust every substance you put into your child’s body. By preparing your own baby food, you can be assured of the quality, safety and consistency of each ingredient. If you choose, you can eliminate salt, sugar or butter. If you’re concerned about pesticides and herbicides, you can use organic produce. If you use store-bought food, you give up these choices. The more involved you are in your baby’s food intake, the more likely you’ll be able to nurture lifelong, healthy eating habits.
4. Increased Nutritional Value
At such a young age, vitamins and nutrients are critically important for your baby’s growth and development. Processed baby foods have added water, preservatives and fillers. While these ingredients aren’t harmful, they dilute the nutritional content. That jar of yellow squash isn’t entirely squash.
Further, in order to store foods, they first have to be heated to a high temperature to kill bacteria. This process can destroy some of the nutritional content as well.
5. Improved Freshness
Taste it for yourself! The smell, taste and color is different. Compare a jar of baby food to a fresh equivalent product. The baby food might not raise any alarms on your tongue, but once you try the fresh food, you’ll immediately recognize the difference.
When your child is young, you want to expose him to as many foods as possible so he enjoys different tastes, especially the tastes of healthy foods. It’s important to offer the best tasting options you can manage so he’ll prefer the healthy stuff. You can even introduce herbs, spices and textures that baby food manufacturers wouldn’t.
Guest Blog by Jennifer Cicci of Babee Talk
As a mother, Jennifer understands the importance of offering nothing by the best for baby. Motivated by teeth marks on her children’s cribs, she decided to design a teething rail cover after trying products that didn’t measure up when it came to quality or style. What she found out made her even more concerned about children’s safety and health: The toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic materials have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems.
She asked herself, “What if I could revolutionize the way parents decorated their crib with a safe and stylish teething rail cover that could be placed on the crib from day one?” Babee Talk® launched in 2014 with organic bedding and accessories. Chew-friendly, drool-friendly, and organic inside and out, her products ensure a healthy start in life for babies.
She only offers products that she would provide for her own children. She hopes moms and dads will start to talk about the importance of choosing safe, healthy, eco-friendly products, especially for babies.
Interested in writing a guest blog for Sleeping Baby? Send your topic idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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|Small||3-6 months||24-28 inches||~12-19lbs|
|Medium||6-12 months||29-32 inches||~19-26lbs|
|Large||12-24 months||33-40 inches||~26-34lbs|
|12-24m||1-3 years||up to 39 inches||~26-34lbs|
|2/3T||3-6 years||up to 48 inches||~34-49lbs|
|4/5T||6-10 years||up to 56 inches||~49-87lbs|