Commercial Baby Food

Is Commercial Baby Food Safe?


commercial baby foodAs you know, this website is devoted to All Things Safe For Baby.

So of course, it’s natural to look at baby food.

Should You Buy Commercial Baby Food?

I’m often asked this, and my answer is always the same.

It’s your choice!

Of course you should if you wish – it offers wonderful ease and convenience.

However, my personal recommendation is also to add that there are some things you need to know about commercial baby food, and so a mixture of homemade and commercial baby food is often a practical option.

Here are my concerns about commercial baby food.

1.  It’s horribly expensive for what it is

For example, baby food versions of fruit juice and apple sauce are often more than twice the price on average of national brands for ‘normal’ or adult food.  So it makes sense to buy ‘normal’ versions of some food and drinks instead of the more expensive baby versions.  Just take an extra 3 minutes one day to see for yourself, then buy accordingly.

2.  Nutrient Value

When I was growing up in Ireland, we boiled all our vegetables – probably to death.  I’m sure we destroyed much of the nutrient value in them.  Many commercial baby foods are cooked at very high temperatures – this is to ensure that all bacteria are killed, which allows a longer shelf life.  But it does make me wonder if some nutrients aren’t lost in that process too.

3.  Additives

Commercial baby food, according to a report produced by The Center for Science and Public Interest, has added water and thickening agents.  This dilutes them and reduces the nutritional value of the food.  OK, we’ve come to expect that.

But my concern is the thickeners - flours, chemical starches, corn, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sugar.  I try to avoid HFCS in my own food, so I’m not convinced it’s good for baby.  It’s another reason not to use big brand name baby food all the time.

4.  Possible Allergies

Something else to consider is that according to Scientific American, some common fillers are potential allergens.  Corn and wheat may cause allergic reactions in some children, and there is some evidence that avoiding wheat before a baby is 1 year old may help to prevent wheat allergies later in life.

It’s Commercial!

Manufacturers of baby food tell you that their particular food is the best, and it meets all your baby’s nutritional needs.  There’s a considerable profit margin in baby food, so they’re going to tell you what you want to hear.  Fair enough.

Just be aware that commercial food probably isn’t as nutritious as fresh food cooked at home, and you won’t always know all the ingredients.

But it is wonderfully convenient, so it’s great to use some of the time.   For example, if you’re ill, or travelling, it’s very handy to have those little bottles all ready-made for you.

What’s Next?

Tips for Commercial Food

Home made baby food – it’s not as time consuming as you might think!


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