Packaged food or homemade purees/food? This is a big question all mothers have in their mind. Specially working mothers would really get excited and incline towards packaged food because it saves time; whereas stay at home mothers who is also busy doing household chores would get excited to try out packaged food while walking down the aisle in the supermarket which offers an array of packaged food options ranging from grains, nuts, fruits in a very fancy glass jars, cute carton or BPA free plastic packaging which can be reused and colorful sachets of fruit puree. They offer variety of mixed ingredients for advanced taste and single ingredient for developing taste. They also keep in mind the texture of the food for a certain age.
But the most important question here is, how safe are these packaged food for our bubs?
Not all packaged food is unhealthy or evil for our kids. You don’t need to feel guilty that you have been relying on packaged food to feed your child when you come home after work. Giving packaged food once in a while is okay. As we live a very busy life shuttling between work, parenting, and school and after school activities of our older kids; try as much as you can to make your child’s food at home. There is no harm in giving them packaged food or ready to eat food periodically and treat it as a life saver. But relying completely on that to save time might not be a good idea for your child to develop good eating habits. I would suggest the formula to be followed; use packaged food for dining out and homemade food for dining in the house. This helps in saving the hassle of making food for kids when you are out of the house. So carrying a fruit puree sachet would be a great idea to keep your child full and happy.
Now, how do you choose what kind of packaged food must be healthy for our kids is another brainstorming question. Well, organic food is the answer. Organic food is healthier and nutritious, free from pesticides and genetically modified components.
Choose your baby’s food wisely when its packed food. Quality now days are no issue as most of the brands has strict safety standards. Make sure the package you are buying does not have any added sugar and added salt to it. Mostly flavors have apple as a common ingredient in it which already has sugar in it naturally. There is a certain amount of sugar and salt which you baby is supposed to consume in a day and should not exceed that limit. Choose the texture of the food wisely according to your baby’s age. Packaged food can be more expensive than homemade mashed food. Look for the only preservative in your packed food is Vitamin C. Processing of food on a high degree to kill the bacteria might also destroy the nutrients in the food.
And if you are very much into giving your child only homemade food please make sure not to boil the fruits but instead steam and microwave them to retain nutrients. Try one ingredient at a time with no added sugar and salt so that it is easy to identify if the child is having any kind of food allergy. Do mash and puree the steamed food nicely in a smooth paste so that it does not choke your child. Do not rewarm food much in advance before eating but just at the time when the baby is ready to eat food.