Homemade Baby Food – Cans?

Are Canned Foods Safe for Baby?


homemade baby food with canned food - sometimesCanned food for baby offers great convenience – but there are some things you need to know.

Advantages of Canned Food

  • Because the canning plants are often close to the place of harvest, there is little nutrient loss (but see also the Issues below).
  • Canned foods are very convenient – the chopping, peeling and sometimes even the cooking is done for you.
  • Canned goods can offer your baby a wider range of food than if you relied only on fresh, local produce.
  • Pesticide levels should be lower in canned goods because the food is already washed peeled and processed.
  • Canned food is often cheaper than fresh produce.

Issues with Canned Food

  • I have read so many conflicting reports about the nutrient value of canned food.   Some reports say it’s full of nutrients due to being canned promptly after harvest; other reports say that heating to high temperatures to remove bacteria destroys all the nutrients.  I think it’s likely that fresh, local food will have more nutrients.
  • Many canned products are high in sodium (salt).
  • Many canned products contain BPA in the lining.  This chemical has known health issues.   You can buy BPA-free canned goods (at a premium) (see here for some BPA-free cans),  but I don’t know if the new material used instead of BPA is safe – after all, we didn’t know for a long time that BPA was problematic.

My Recommendation

homemade baby food with canned fishCanned foods are processed, and the idea behind homemade baby food is that it’s fresh, not processed.  Also, you want to know exactly what you are feeding your baby, and canned foods don’t let you do that.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of canned food for baby, but cans do provide variety.  The occasional meal with canned food is OK, but local, fresh produce (preferably organic) is always the way to go wherever possible.    Homemade baby food is after all, homemade….




 Photo Credit: Microsoft

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