What are my feeling towards jarred baby food? Well, I'm kind of against it. Yes, it's true that there is a few jars in my cupboard right now, and yes, I do take the free jar of baby food that comes with an adult meal at Ikea. However, I really don't think buying jarred baby food, even organic. Have you ever mashed a fresh banana yourself and noticed it's color, texture, and taste? Now compare that to the color, texture, and taste of a jar of banana baby food. It's TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!! Honestly, that's all the proof I need to know that there's something wrong with jarred baby food. When the factory prepares the food to go into a jar of baby food, they over cook it until it's total mush so that it's easier to puree and strain, and to avoid ANY chance that there could be any hard chunks that a baby could choke on. Ok, I understand that they don't want to harm any babies, obviously that's a GOOD thing. But food doesn't need to be cooked that much. They're destroying all the vitamins and minerals when they cook the food for so long. Besides, the strainer should catch any chunks that might be hanging around. Aside from that, once the fruit or vegetables, or meat (yuck! jarred meat??) has been put in the jar, they place the jar into a bath of hot water to kill any bacteria and basically, it kills a lot of nutrients in the process. Now, whatever is left nutritionally in that jar is then left on a grocery store shelf, under artificial lighting for who knows how long, until even more nutrition is lost. By the time you feed it to your baby, it absolutely does not resemble the original product in taste, texture, or nutritional value.
So what's the solution? Make it yourself!!! It's easier than you think, cheaper, and WAY healthier. All you need is a blender (I like the Magic Bullet, found at Canadian Tire or Costco), a sieve, some fruits and vegetables, meat or tofu, and water, juice or broth. This morning I peeled a pear, cut it up, threw it into the magic bullet with 2 tablespoons of water, pureed it for 45 seconds, and VOILA! Joseph ate half, and the other half went into ice cube trays for tomorrow's breakfast. For lunch I'm going to cook (but not over cook) a sweet potato, then mash it and press it trough a sieve, mix in a bit of breast milk to thin it out and save the extra in the freezer for another day. Besides the nutritional benefits, and cost savings that come along with making your own baby food, you also get the added bonus of being able to make your baby whatever you think is appropriate. Your choices are no longer limited to what the store sells. I like to make my baby zucchini baby food, or watermelon-mango baby food. You'll never see those choices at the grocery store. When my baby gets older, I plan on serving, carrots and lentils, or broccoli and tofu, or fruit and yogurt smoothies.
I'm not saying that jarred baby food is evil or anything. I totally understand that sometimes it's just more convenient. Like when we go to visit Grandma, or when I need to grab something to bring to church. I'm also totally ok with organic baby cereals. I think a jar of baby food is ok sometimes, but making it yourself really is the healthier choice.
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