Listen, I respect mothers who mash and prepare all their own baby food. It sounds like a really great way to feed your child. If my memory serves me right, plenty of advocates told me that it was cheaper than buying all those fun little jars. But when I was single mother struggling to work enough hours to support my daughter and spending quality bonding time to assuage the guilt of leaving her at daycare all day long, the time and thought that went into homemade baby mush seemed to be too much for me to deal with. I respected those moms, I just didn’t have the energy or ambition to be one.
That’s right, I was Gerber baby all the way. I bought Gerber Plus with DHA to make myself feel better about it, but it was store-bought baby food all the way. I never looked back.
Now, research is out showing that those little glass jars really aren’t as good for your infants as you thought. In face, if I’m ever lucky enough to have another child, it looks like I’ll have to pull out the food processor. Gee thanks science.
University of Greenwich School of Science tested eight different types of baby food from various brands and manufactures. They chose four meat flavors (my stomach is churning just thinking about them) and four veggies. One of the choices even had pasta. And guess what those researchers found when they ran the substance through an instrument called an Inductivity Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer?
Science Daily sums it up:
“The research showed that infants given one meat jar and one vegetable jar on top of 600ml of formula milk would not be getting enough calcium, magnesium, copper and selenium. On average, the levels were below 20% of the recommended daily supply.”
Overall, researchers have demonstrated that store-bought baby food will not provide the micronutrients your baby needs. The woman who leaded the research team, Dr. Nazanin Zand, concluded, “Our investigations showed that there was a need to improve the nutritional value of some complementary baby feeds. In addition, the regulations governing them need to be tighter and more robust.”
Another easy conclusion that we could draw from this study is that all those homemade mashers were on to something from the start. Parents shouldn’t be trusting a corporation with their child’s health and nutrition. We probably need to get more involved on a personal level and guarantee that our children are getting everything they need.
I feel pretty awful about dismissing homemade baby food, even if I was stressed and struggling in the beginning. I know that I would things differently now. Though I have to admit that I’m already sighing at those mushed veggies and giving my blender the side-eye.
(Photo: Honest Fare)