Finally, an article that supports homemade baby food over packaged baby food. This was from a blurb in my American Medical Association daily email updates:
Reuters (2/23, Rapaport) reports that, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, “babies who get homemade food may learn to like a wider variety of food types and be leaner than infants who eat store-bought products.” For the study, “researchers examined dietary data on 65 infants and assessments of body fat from exams when infants were 6, 9, 12 and 36 months old.” Reuters says that “when researchers scored babies’ diets based on how many of seven different food groups they consumed, the infants getting only homemade food achieved scores almost a full point higher than babies getting only store-bought foods.” Meanwhile, “at one year of age, babies who ate only homemade food had a lower percentage of body fat than the other infants in the study.”
I previously referred to an article that claimed the opposite:
I think it makes sense that feeding your kid ONLY pre-packaged baby food is probably not the healthiest.
WZW is 18 months old today! It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since he started solid foods. He eats mostly regular food, but for convenience we do still have baby food as well. The pouches are nice for bringing on-the-go, since they don’t need to be refrigerated and can be easily kept in a diaper bag. But they are more expensive.
Even though he eats most of what we eat, it’s still a lot of effort to figure out what to feed him multiple times a day, so we still give some baby food even when we’re at home. We still like the Earth’s Best brand, because they have the glass jars that are way cheaper than the pouches, and come in 6 oz jars (rather than the 4 oz pouches). So we’ll put them into the reusable pouches. They also have flavors that aren’t sweet, which is hard to find when you look at the varieties of pouches in the stores or online.
We’re lucky that WZW has never been a picky eater. Even from when he first started solids, there were only a few foods that he didn’t like. He mostly eats everything, and since we eat a variety of ethnic foods as a family, he has tried a variety of flavors. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by spice as well- he can handle it better than my parents can! If anything, I worry about him eating too much, as he’s starting to need 2 yo sized clothes, thanks to his big belly. I guess the pediatrician will tell us at his upcoming 18-month appointment if he’s getting too heavy on his growth curve.
I think for most families, doing all homemade food can be difficult. But given the varieties of mostly sweet foods in the packaged baby foods, I think it’s good for parents to be aware so that they can feed their babies savory foods and add variety with homemade foods. Otherwise the babies would get used to foods they like, such as apples and sweet potatoes that are often added to make the baby food more palatable to babies.
We definitely did what we could to encourage WZW to eat a variety of foods. Supposedly different flavors and spice get secreted in breast milk, so I ate a variety of foods during his first 6 months when that’s all he was getting. And since then we’ve given him a variety of foods, homemade (and restaurant made) and baby food. But I think it’s also probably just him. Many babies, when given new foods for the first time, don’t accept them until multiple attempts have been made. Whereas for WZW, most foods weren’t a problem the first time.
For me and my husband, we’ve been using Cook Smarts more, so we’ve been eating more Paleo than before. Thanks to my husband who has been cooking us meals during his off days, I have been eating less carbs than what had become my usual. I’m still not quite there in terms of being completely Paleo- it’s still convenient to eat what’s available at work on days when lunch is provided. While before, I would definitely pick a sandwich over a salad given the choice, I’ve been trying to go for the salads more often.
The problem is that the salads leave me hungry a couple of hours later. I had forgotten about that- when I first went full Paleo, I was eating A LOT. And then, as I got used to it, I found that I needed less food to feel satisfied longer. Right now, while I’m still not full Paleo, I have to deal with the low carb meals (usually pre-packaged salads) often not keeping me full as long. But I’m proud of myself for making some progress. I’m still usually pretty exhausted from work and WZW to put any more effort into it, so any little bit helps.
In any case, last night we were eating a Cook Smarts dish, which was tamarind chicken with bok choy on cauliflower rice. WZW was eating it all without a fuss, and even practicing his fork skills! Made Mom and Dad proud to see their little guy enjoying his Paleo dinner.