Nutrition-wise blog

Homemade baby food: What are the benefits?

By Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. September 10, 2013

Making homemade baby food is a hot trend. If you're considering whether to get on the bandwagon and buy a food processor or other kitchen gadget to make your own baby food, it may be worth the investment.

A recent study examined the diet patterns of babies throughout their first year to determine if there is an association between types of foods fed and the development of food allergies.

This study results suggest that a more nutritious diet — one containing more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants — may be protective against the development of food allergies. Specifically, they compared diets of infants fed more fruits, vegetables and homemade foods with diets of infants fed more processed or adult foods, such as convenience foods, ready-to-eat meals and processed potatoes.

Here are a few tips to help ensure that you're giving your baby a nutritious diet:

  • Make baby food from freshly prepared ingredients, such as tender meats, lentils, beans, fresh or frozen cooked vegetables, and ripe fruits. Avoid canned products with added salt.
  • Cook, puree or mash, and then freeze in small containers, such as ice cube trays or mini muffin cups. When it's time to use, thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat thoroughly and then let the food cool so it is warm to the touch when you're ready to feed it to your baby.
  • When choosing commercially prepared baby foods, stick to the single ingredient types as they are more nutritionally dense than the mixed dinner meals.

Parents concerned about food allergies, what are your thoughts? Parent making homemade baby foods, please share your tips.

To the health of our children,

Katherine

6 Comments Posted

Sep. 10, 2013