Parents have a lot of important to decisions when it comes to raising their babies, and there are many conflicting schools of thought about the best tactics. Of course, keeping children safe and healthy is always a parent’s first priority.
So when it comes to healthy baby food, is it better to make food at home using healthy ingredients, or choose store bought food that was subjected to strict regulations? WebMD says that many myths surround baby food, including the longstanding idea that feeding your baby homemade baby food isn’t as safe as commercial baby food.
The Benefits of Homemade Baby Food
Making homemade food for your baby has a lot of the same benefits as making homemade food for yourself. It is less expensive, which can be a huge plus for parents that are still adjusting to the expense of having a child. Homemade baby food also has environmental benefits because there is less packaging waste. Plus, parents have much greater control over what ingredients are included in their child’s meals. It’s never too early to get kids started with healthy eating habits. Though it can be convenient, some store bought baby food includes ingredients like salt or sugar.
Keeping Homemade Baby Food Safe
One of the biggest advantages of store bought baby food (besides convenience) is that it is regulated by strict safety rules. But when made with the right precautions and care, homemade baby food is perfectly safe. Like when cooking all foods, attention to cleanliness is the first step toward safe foods. All utensils (including your hands!) and cooking surfaces should be washed using warm soapy water or a cleaning solution, then allowed to dry before use. When dealing with raw meat or seafood, keep cooked and raw foods away from each other. Always cook homemade baby food to the proper internal temperature, and then chill foods right away if they need to be stored.
If you simply follow a few common sense guidelines, there is no reason to worry about the safety of your homemade baby cereal or homemade avocado baby food. The savings alone might be worth it!
- “Feeding your baby”, March of Dimes Foundation
- “5 Baby Food Myths and Realities”, Ari Brown, WebMD Child Health 411
Better meals begin with better planning. We can help.