Homemade Baby Food for a Healthy Baby
Forty-six percent of parents wish they could do more for their children. This is no surprise to most parents, who are constantly aware of what they can do to give their children the best possible life. From making sure they are well loved, to teaching them letters and numbers, to giving them the best possible foods.
Of all the good things parents want to provide for their children, good nutrition is perhaps the most important consideration. It sets the all-important foundation for mental and physical growth. This is why more parents are choosing to feed their infants homemade baby food as the healthiest option.
Considering Homemade Baby Food Safety
Making homemade baby food allows parents to have much greater control over what their babies are eating. It’s simple and easy to make your own baby food, and there are tons of recipes out there. If you choose to embark on a homemade baby food adventure, there are some important things to consider.
Did you know the kitchen has the most bacteria of all the rooms in the house? As long as parents and/or caretakers are taking proper precautions to keep bacteria out of baby food, homemade is still the best option. Making sure that all surfaces, tools and hands are thoroughly clean using hot soapy water is essential to avoid germ contamination. Storing leftovers in proper containers and freezing or refrigerating immediately to stop bacteria growth is also important. This is not hard to do and you’ll enjoy watching baby happily eat freshly made foods!
It does take consistent effort to maintain a clean and germ free environment in the kitchen. If there are older children using the kitchen or pets in the home you’ll want to make sure surfaces and containers are thoroughly clean before prepping any food for baby. Babies immune systems are still developing and germs that may not make an older child or adult sick can affect baby.
If this seems too difficult for you, try making homemade baby food on weekends or during less busy times. In cases where you cannot guarantee a clean kitchen to prepare food in, it may be beneficial to choose jarred baby food. It’s prepared in a sterile environment and packaged in a way to deter bacteria growth.
Benefits of Food Variety for Babies
Making your own homemade baby food allows parents to offer a wide variety of foods to their baby. These are often foods that you are unlikely to find in jars on the grocery store shelves. The benefits of providing a variety of different foods are many.
According to Doctors Carina Venter and Kate Maslin, exposing children to lots of different flavors and textures from a young age can widen food preferences. It also leads to healthier eating habits later on in life. Offering a wide variety of foods also leads to a wider range of nutrients found in your babies diet. This helps build a strong foundation for growth and development.
The World Health Organization encourages parents to feed babies everything from fruits and veggies, to meat, fish and eggs from as early as six months of age. Keep in mind you can also find a variety of foods and nutrients in store bought food. Busy parents should never feel guilty over taking advantage of premade baby food.
Prevention of Chronic Disease Through Healthy Food Choices
Researchers in a recent study found that babies who ate only homemade baby food had lower body fat mass at one and three years old. The lead author of the study, Dr. Elise Mok, says this could lead to lower rates of obesity and chronic illness for these children.
As stated before, children who are fed homemade baby foods tend to eat a wider variety across necessary food groups, which is important for diet diversity and nutritional needs. It creates a strong immune system and fights against chronic disease. However, the difference in body fat was very small between store bought food and homemade.
Making homemade baby food is certainly has many health benefits, but busy parents shouldn’t worry too much about the occasional store bought food. Texture and diet diversity are the most important things that homemade food can offer, and this can still happen while mixing in or supplementing with store bought food.
Karoline is a former nutritionist, but left a corporate environment for a more free and flexible lifestyle of freelance writing. She now uses her knowledge to create informative articles like this one!