Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons

Common Questions about Introducing Baby Food:

Introducing your child to baby food can be an exciting milestone for you and your little one. I didn’t realize how much there was to know about baby food until I was in the thick of it. I had heard all types of advice from friends, relatives, and our pediatrician. When my first child’s pediatrician gave me advice about introducing baby food, I remember feeling more overwhelmed when I left the office than when I arrived. His advise though good, was a little vague, and left me with lots of questions. His general advice was this: (My thoughts in response to his advice are in the parenthesis below.)

  • Baby can start eating baby food anywhere between 4-8 months. ( In the life of a baby, 4 months is such a long time! They develop so dramatically physically over the course of 4 months, how will I know when my baby is ready?) All kids are different. I decided to introduce baby food to both my children at 6 months respectively. While my daughter was eager, my son was not ready. I just gave it a break for a week or so until he demonstrated he was ready. Read more at “Is Your Baby Ready For Solid Foods?
  • Some foods should not be offered to baby in the first year including honey, peanuts, and cow’s milk. Other foods tend to give baby’s gas and should be avoided until their digestive tract is more developed and they can handle it better. (Is there a list of when certain foods should be introduced/foods to avoid?) See a list here of appropriate ages to introducing certain foods to your baby courtesy of Wholesomebabyfood.com.

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons

  • Only introduce baby to one new food at a time. Wait 4 days before introducing another new food to be certain baby doesn’t have an allergic reaction. (This makes sense, sounds good.)
  • Introduce new foods to baby in the AM rather than the PM in case of adverse reaction. This way, in the case baby has a reaction, you can resolve a bloated/gassy stomach during wake time rather than in the middle of the night. If there is a severe reaction, care can be obtained easier during the day as well. (Ahh! Severe Allergic reactions? This sounds scary!)
  • Generally people believe that baby should start off with rice cereal, however this doesn’t have to be baby’s first food. ( I am allergic to rice, and so is my brother. The pediatrician said that food allergies can be hereditary, so I think I won’t be using rice as my baby’s first food just in case he is allergic too.) Find out why “Rice cereal is a less than perfect choice...”

With all these questions/concerns bouncing around in my head, I set off to search the internet for answers. Thankfully I stumbled across a wonderful website called wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com. It has a plethora of information, including a section for common questions. I literally got lost for hours reading and gleaning information from this website. I was able to get the answers I was looking for and also received a lot of encouragement to make my own baby food. With my many questions answered, my anxiety changed to  ambition.  I wanted to make my own baby food!

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & ConsHere I am at the grocery store with my son buying a sweet potato to make his first baby food. This is not the most flattering picture of me, but it really illustrates the excitement I felt about making my own baby food for him. Unfortunately my first run with making baby food didn’t go so well. Read  about what I learned from my mistakes below.

Two Things to Keep in Mind Before You Start Making Your Own Baby Food:

  1. The right tool makes all the difference.  I set out to make my own sweet potato baby food. Unfortunately, I didn’t use an immersion blender on my first attempt. I just used a normal blender, and it was so frustrating, I felt like I blended that sweet potato forever, and it was still lumpy. I tried feeding it to my son on the day he turned 6 months, but he was not too excited about it. The texture was nowhere near the smooth texture I had seen in store bought baby food. Suddenly baby food from the store started to sound really good. Because the store bought green vegetable baby food smelled so bad, I attempted to feed it to my son only once, and after both of us were grossed out, I didn’t try again. He is about 4 years old now, and still doesn’t like green veggies. May be it is because he didn’t get much exposure to green veggies when he was little, or maybe he wouldn’t have liked it any way.  Who knows? Sorry bud! The first kid always seems to be the guinea pig.

When my second child started to get old enough to eat baby food, I decided I would try to make it myself again. This time I tried peas, and I used an immersion blender. I was blown away by how simple It was to make! Making my own baby food became a whole new experience! I wish I hadn’t given up so easily the first time around. Making the peas went so well that I tried it with carrots, green beans, corn, cauliflower, broccoli and I even attempted sweet potato again! The Immersion blender made all the difference!

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
Frozen Home Made Baby Food. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was to make with an immersion blender!

Simplicity is the Key to Success: I recommend starting out with a vegetable that is easy to cook, preferably one you can steam right in the bag in the microwave. If you experience success early on, you will have the confidence later on to try making veggies that require a little more work. I didn’t realize that sweet potatoes were one of the more complicated baby foods to make since they take more work to cook/peal.

Homemade Baby Food Verses Store Bought:

Whether you choose to purchase baby food from the store, or make your own baby food at home, depends on what is important to you. Do you want convenience with a higher price tag? Do you want something cheaper and fresher but that will take a bit more time to prepare? What is important to you and your family? It may change according to certain circumstances. I have and use both homemade baby food as well as store bought baby food.

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons

Homemade Baby Food:

Tends to be more fresh, and vibrant in color. In most cases, It is cheaper than store bought baby food. Two jars of store bought baby food will cost more than a whole bag of frozen veggies that can make several servings of baby food.

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons

Store Bought Baby Food:

Store bought baby food is quick, easy, portable and convenient. It does however cost more than homemade baby food. I have store bought baby food packed in my daughter’s 72 hour Emergency kit. I do feed her store bought food at times, and it is comforting to know that she eats it just fine, and will have food she is familiar with in case of an emergency.

Using Both:

I am not extremely opposed to store bought baby food, in fact I have used it for both of my kids. I currently prefer using homemade baby food on a day to day use when we are at home. When we are out and about, or traveling, I  love the convenience of store bought baby food. I do not personally purchase the premade baby food with green veggies or meats, they just look unnatural and smell weird to me. Have you ever smelled them? I think they are gross! I have often wondered why the peas have a dull color in the jar when they are so vibrantly green when fresh? Something just doesn’t seem quite right about those green veggies. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of feeding my child something that made me gag just by looking at it.

I am not saying they are bad, and I do not think you are a bad mom if you use them for your kids. I just don’t personally love them, and I would be lying if I said I did. I do however love the store bought  fruit/veggie baby food pouches! Because these are so expensive, I only use them for convenience when we are out an about. If we are gone for an extended amount of time, but will have a kitchen available, I like to pack the plastic baby food jars and transfer them into my own reusable pouches to save a little money. I use the reusable pouches at home with my homemade baby food as well.

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
GoGo Squeez 

If you plan to use either reusable or disposable pouches, I highly recommend getting a couple of these pouch toppers. They are soft so baby doesn’t hurt their sensitive teething gums on the hard plastic spouts that typically come on pouches. These keep eating clean as baby has to actively suck in order to make the food come out. I love that I can give my baby a food pouch with this special topper, and she can feed herself independently while I eat my own food. Sometimes it is nice to eat your own food uninterrupted.

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons

Reusable Pouches Pouch Toppers

I once accidentally took a bite of my baby’s food because I was distracted while feeding her from a spoon, and feeding myself soup from a spoon. Yuck! Lets face it, when you are feeding a toddler, and a baby and yourself at the same time, things can get a little crazy, so sometimes it is nice to let the baby feed themselves with a pouch. She really loves the independence too! Another handy thing we like to use is the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder. Just toss a piece of apple, pear, banana etc inside of the mesh net and let baby go for it. With the mesh net, you don’t have to chop the food into so many tiny pieces. It is so convenient, but allows you to still use fresh food.

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons

How to Make Your Own Baby Food:

Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons

  1. Start with some steamed Vegetables. I like to use the frozen vegetable packages that you can steam in the bag in the microwave. Smiths sells a variety of  Kroger brand frozen vegetables for $1.00 each. Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
  2. Pour Vegetables in a small but deep bowl.Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
  3. Pour Breast milk, formula or water over vegetables, starting with about 2 oz, adding more depending on the desired consistency. Keep in mind that different vegetables will require various amounts of liquid. Corn, peas and cauliflower tend to be naturally more moist than carrots or sweet potatoes, and will not require as much additional liquid.
    Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & ConsBaby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
  4. Blend liquid and steamed vegetables using an immersion blender. You can purchase a hand blender like this one with a bonus measuring cup that would be perfect for blending your baby food on Amazon.Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
  5. Once it is smooth, I like to use a cookie scoop to easily dish the baby food into an ice cube tray.Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
  6. Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing.

    Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
    Pictured in order from top to bottom: Peas, Carrots, Corn, Cauliflower, Sweet Potato.
  7. Once frozen, twist the Ice cube tray to pop the baby food out and store in zip locked baggies in the freezer. Side Note: I have also tried using mini muffin tins  in place of ice cube trays. This didn’t work as well as you can not easily release the frozen baby food from the muffin tin like you can by twisting the ice cube trays. In order to release them I had to thaw the frozen baby food a little by placing the muffin tin in a cookie sheet filled with warm water. This allows them to melt a little so they can be released. Because they are semi thawed, they tend to stick together once they are frozen again. It works okay in a pinch but is definitely the ideal option.Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons
  8.  You can easily thaw one or two at a time in the microwave
    for about 30 seconds when you are ready to serve. Always test the temperature of the baby food on your own skin before feeding to baby in order to avoid burning your baby’s mouth.

I hope you find success in making your own baby food. If you have any questions, or need encouragement, write a comment below.

Home Made Baby Food

Home Made Baby Food

Ingredients

  • Steamed/Cooked Vegetables
  • Breast milk/ Formula/ Water

Instructions

  1. Steam Vegetables.
  2. Pour Vegetables in a small but deep bowl.
  3. Pour Breast milk, formula or water over vegetables, starting with about 2 oz, adding more depending on the desired consistency. (Keep in mind that different vegetables will require various amounts of liquid. Corn, peas and cauliflower tend to be naturally moister than carrots or sweet potatoes, and will not require as much additional liquid.)
  4. Blend liquid and steamed vegetables using an immersion blender.
  5. Once smooth, use a cookie scoop to dish baby food into an ice cube tray.
  6. Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing.
  7. Once frozen, twist the Ice cube try to pop the baby food out and store in zip locked baggies in the freezer. Side Note: I have also tried using mini muffin tins in place of ice cube trays. This didn't work as well as you cannot easily release the frozen baby food from the muffin tin like you can by twisting the ice cube trays. In order to release them I had to thaw the frozen baby food a little by placing the muffin tin in a cookie sheet filled with warm water. This allows them to melt a little so they can be released. Because they are semi thawed, they tend to stick together once they are frozen again.
  8. You can easily thaw one or two at a time in the microwave for about 30 seconds when you are ready to serve. Always test the temperature of the baby food on your own skin before feeding to baby in order to avoid burning your baby's mouth.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.happyhousewifeblog.com/baby-food-store-bought-versus-home-made-pros-cons/

Become a part of the Happy Housewife Blog Community by liking our Facebook page.

Subscribe on your smartphone using the pull down menu, or on the sidebar on your computer.

If you would like to share my content, please provide a link back to my website. Please do not use my images without permission.

This post may contain Affiliate links. To read more about what that means, click here to see our Affiliate Area.Baby Food-Store Bought Versus Home Made-Pros & Cons

Sharing is Caring! Click/Tap the buttons below to share this blog post on social media.

How to Survive the First 10 Days of Breastfeeding a Newborn

I wish I had stumbled across something like this before I had my first child. My expectation of breastfeeding was skewed from reality. I had read a little pamphlet going over different holding techniques and tips on how to get your baby to latch. It all looked simple enough. I figured it would just come naturally and would be a breeze. I had heard about all of the physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding, and was committed to doing it. If this was not the case, I may not have survived those first 10 days of breastfeeding!

I had no idea breastfeeding would be such a painful and emotional thing until I had my first child! I would literally cry and my toes would curl in pain when he would latch. It did eventually get easier for me and I was able to nurse him for a whole year. In the end I was glad that I stuck it out through those first painful days/weeks. Since I had such a hard time nursing with my first, when I was pregnant with my second, I did some research to try and make it a little easier. Though it was still very hard, there were a couple of products I used that helped ease the pain. I highly recommend purchasing them before your baby is born. The last thing you want right after having a baby is to have to make a desperate run to the store for some sort of relief. I was so glad that I had these items at hand when I had my second child.

Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!

  1. Boppy: These pillows wrap perfectly around your body and provide just the right support for you to hold your child in the right position. I didn’t get one of these until my first was a few weeks old, and my shoulders and arms were so sore from trying to support him while nursing. I tried propping up pillows and blankets, but they just didn’t give me the support I needed. You don’t realize how heavy 8 lbs is until you have to support it in a precise spot for an extended amount of time, several times a day, seven days a week! My daughter is 9 mos old now and we still use our Boppy several times a day, everyday. Believe me, every penny you spend on this will be well used. I own the plain one, and got a green cover to use for my boy, and am now using a pink cover for my girl.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can purchase the plain pillow here, and customize it with a slip cover here.
  2. Medela Tender Care Lanolin Cream: This cream helps sooth and heal sore/ cracked nipples. It is safe for mom and baby, and can be applied after each feeding to keep nipples moist. In the beginning, I wouldn’t go anywhere without one of these. I kept one tube by the rocking chair, and one in the diaper bag at all times.
    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can buy a tube or two here.

    To be honest, I didn’t nurse away from home much for those first 10 days. There is so much going on for both you and baby trying to get the hang of it. You can pretty much forget about using a cover. I would always ask if there was a private room I could use those first few weeks if I ever nursed away from home.

  3. Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads: The lactation consultant at the hospital told me that keeping the nipples moist allows them to heal and prevents cracking. I only bought one pair before my second was born. We had to make a run to the store to get more since these only last a couple days or so. I got a few pairs and used them for the first couple of weeks. They really help keep things moist in between feedings. I will be purchasing 3 or 4 pairs before we have our next baby.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can purchase some here.
  4. Lansinoh TheraPearl 3 in 1 Breast Therapy: When heated, these help with engorgement. When your milk first comes in, your body over compensates and produces more than your baby can consume. It takes a while for your body to respond to your baby’s ques and provide the right amount of milk. This fullness is called engorgement and can be very painful. The breasts may swell, become hard, and become very tender. Even laying on your side can become unbearable because of the pressure. The heat, when applied to the breast can aid in let down, allowing the breasts to drain the excess milk.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can purchase these here.
  5. Pumping: When done in moderation, pumping can also help with engorgement. If you pump too much, your body will respond by producing more milk, and thus cause your breasts to become more engorged. It is important to pump just until you feel a little relief. Do not completely drain the breast. If you experience sore nipples while pumping, you may want to look into a different size flange. An improperly fitted flange can cause nipple soreness. I borrowed and sanitized a hand pump from my sister in law with my first, and found that I much prefer an electric pump when I used it with my second. Breast pumps are a covered benefit through most medical insurance companies. Give yours a call to find out what they offer. My insurance provided me with an Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump free of charge. I love it. All I had to do was pick it up locally.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    If your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a breast pump, you can find a good one here, as well as flanges to adjust the size.
  6. Nipple Shield: These are supposed to aid with latching problems which are the main cause of sore nipples. At about day nine, I was in so much pain that I was feeling very desperate. I was blistered and bleeding, and when it was time to feed again, I would break down and cry thinking, “I don’t think I can go through it again!” I had done some research on nipple shields and thought I might need one. I didn’t own one so I decided I would send my husband to the store to get one in the morning. Thankfully by morning, the blisters had pealed and the bleeding had stopped. It suddenly felt so much better! I didn’t end up needing it after the drastic improvement, but I think I will buy one ahead of time, just in case, for my next child. You do need to be careful in using this product however because they can sometimes reduce milk supply if used for too long.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can purchase this here.
  7.  Seek Help from a Lactation Consultant: At the hospital I talked with one who explained that if the baby is latched correctly, it should not hurt. I experienced pain from the very first feeding so I wasn’t getting a good latch. I just figured that it hurt with my first so it would probably be the same. You would think that you would have it figured out after breastfeeding for a whole year, but each child is different. You and baby are both learning, it is okay to ask an expert for help. I finally asked for her help after I had already become sore.  She helped me find a good latch by using the football hold. For whatever reason, that is what worked for us. I used that position for the first few weeks. Next time around I will try to have the lactation consultant there to help me get it right on the first feeding. It is never too late to get help, most hospitals have certain days of the week you can walk in and visit with a lactation consultant for free.

Those first 10 days or so can be very difficult, but hopefully these products can help you through it. Having been through it twice, I can say that the benefits far outweigh the pain experienced at first. I am so glad that I stuck it out, and having these products certainly made it easier for me the second time around. It is important to remember that Mother knows best. No one knows your child and their needs like you do. You will be able to make the best decisions regarding you and your baby. From a mom who has been there, you are doing great! You CAN do it!2016-07-15 20.13.24

If you would like to share my content, please provide a link back to my website. Please do not use my images without permission.

This post may contain Affiliate links. To read more about what that means, click here to see our Affiliate Area.

Sharing is Caring! Please share this with your friends using the Social Media Buttons below.