It’s time for a showdown: homemade baby food vs. store-bought. What are the differences, and which is better? Find out below!
Homemade Baby Food Vs. Store-Bought Baby Food
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Have you ever wondered what the difference is between store-bought baby food and baby food that is homemade? You are not alone! There are some very vocal advocates for homemade baby food, while others seem content with store-bought. So, what is the real difference between the two? Let’s take a look!
Homemade Baby Food
Homemade baby food doesn’t have any preservatives or ingredients that you cannot pronounce. It is just whole foods, blended up into a delicious puree. You have the peace of mind of knowing exactly what your baby is getting.
Due to the lack of preservatives or other additives, homemade baby food tends to be more nutritious. You can add spinach, avocado, and many other healthy greens to ensure that your baby is getting a well-balanced and healthy meal.
When making baby food, if you use what your family is eating, it is a lot cheaper than buying baby food at the store. Plus, if you make a large batch of food, you can freeze the rest for later.
Introduce Baby to New Flavors
Store-bought baby food is rather limited in the flavor department. Many parents love the freedom that making baby food gives them to introduce unique flavor combinations that the whole family regularly enjoys. This way, baby grows up with the family food palette and has an easier time transitioning to real food later on.
Due to the lack of preservatives, homemade baby food doesn’t last nearly as long. One way to increase the longevity of the homemade baby food is to put the puree into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Once the bites are frozen enough, they can be moved into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and put in a deep freeze for up to 3-6 months.
Store-Bought Baby Food
There is no doubt that store-bought baby food is much more convenient than homemade baby food. No preparing, cooking, or clean-up is involved. Your kitchen will stay clean, and you won’t have to worry about doing any dishes.
The portable containers are easy to take on the go with a spoon so that your baby can have food at the park, museum, or at Grandma’s house. Since store-bought baby food doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it is opened, you can keep a couple of cans in your diaper bag in case of emergency.
Meets Strict FDA Guidelines
Store-bought baby food has to undergo a series of tests to ensure that it is free of bacteria and safe for a baby to consume. If it doesn’t pass the FDA inspection, it can’t be sold in stores. There is a peace of mind knowing that the food is perfectly safe for your baby!
Baby food sold in jars can last up to 2 years before needing to be thrown away. If it is sold in pouches, the shelf-life is about 1 year. Store-bought baby food lasts much longer than homemade baby food.
Store-bought baby food is nutritious. There is a bit of debate about whether the heating process (used to kill bacteria) can reduce some of the nutrients, but overall, a minimal amount of nutrients are lost during the heating process.
From what I have learned, neither homemade baby food nor store-bought baby food is superior. Each of them is incredibly useful and get the job done. Ultimately it doesn’t matter which you choose, fed is always best when it comes to babies!
Do you prefer homemade or store-bought baby food? Tell us in the comments!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!