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Processed vs homemade baby food

(47 Posts)
SqidgeBum Tue 23-Apr-19 20:57:32

Hi. My LO is 5 months and I am starting to really look into the whole weaning thing. I have decided to not exclusively do BLW but I do plan on mixing purees and finger foods. We live in a very healthy household food wise and we are very determined to try our best to keep our DS on healthy, homemade food. However, tonight I have decided to do some research on salt and sugar intake for babies. I am under no illusion that all homemade can be expensive so I thought I would investigate processed food vs homemade further, and its boggled me a little so I thought people here might know more.

For purees, I have made my own vegetable ones and frozen them, but cannot work out the sugar situation for homemade fruit purees. Are processed ones filled with sugar in comparison to homemade ones? For example, Sainsbury's pear, apple and strawberry puree has 10.5g of sugar per pot. That sounds bad to me, but is it? Is homemade puree much better for my LO? Or are all fruit purees bad for babies?

Salt seems easier to avoid in most processed purees. Most I have examined say they have about 0.1g or much less in some. I know daily allowance is about 0.12g.

Is processed baby food really as bad as I have been led to believe?

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Tue 23-Apr-19 21:00:53

Look at the ingredients. If there is no added sugar then the sugar content comes from the fruit itself. Homemade fruit puree will also be high in sugar even if you don't add any extra.

dementedpixie Tue 23-Apr-19 21:02:53

INGREDIENTS:Pear Puree (51%), Apple Puree (40%), Strawberry Puree (9%), Ascorbic Acid +, Lemon Juice from Concentrate.

No added sugar so it's all from the fruit

99calmbeforethestorm Tue 23-Apr-19 21:04:25

Check the ingredients labels. Most baby food won’t have added sugar but check for anything that ends in -cous. Or any other ingredients that don’t sound like ingredients. Naturally occurring sugar are not as bad as refined sugars but be carefully with Ella’s baby food and check others as they often have a lot of fruit even in savoury food meaning the baby is only used to sweet foods.

CraftyGin Tue 23-Apr-19 21:04:52

Just give your baby what you are eating. You don’t need to make special foods or purée. Just cut back on salt.

BasinHaircut Tue 23-Apr-19 21:08:23

You are overthinking this. Just dont add salt or sugar to anything (including using ingredients with e.g. high salt such as stock cubes) and it will be fine.

Pre-made baby food will always be suitable.

daffodilsare Tue 23-Apr-19 21:08:28

It's definitely cheaper to do it yourself at home! I bought refillable pouches too, which were fab and easy to wash and reuse.

The thing I was told by my health visitor was that the nutritional value is depleted by the packaging process of the supermarket stuff. Which makes sense.

SqidgeBum Tue 23-Apr-19 21:13:49

@CraftyGin I am not sure giving my 6 month old massaman curry is a brilliant idea hahaha. I have read with BLW from 6 months where there is no puree or anything there is a lot of gagging. I know its not choking but I dont know if I can handle it, hence why I thought I would puree for example parsnip but then eventually give her a bit of parsnip to go along with it (when she is less likely to gag). So far LO has had small tastes of pureed carrot and baby rice and savaged it, and I ideally want to just give what we eat to avoid faff, but dont really know where to start other than just handing over a carrot stick. BLW kinda scares me TBH.

OP’s posts: |
FenellaMaxwell Tue 23-Apr-19 21:16:59

Why don’t you think your child would like massaman curry? Gagging is not necessarily bad - it’s how they learn to swallow and to eat properly. Gagging and choking are not the same thing.

SqidgeBum Tue 23-Apr-19 21:19:59

@FenellaMaxwell I am sure my LO would like it, we make a mean curry, but surely chillies and spice wouldnt be great for her digestive system? I get giving veg and natural yoghurt and fruit, but curry?

OP’s posts: |
MamaTuska Tue 23-Apr-19 21:23:34

I am not sure if that is helpful but I will share my way of introducing solids. I was home cooking when at home and using jars when out and about or eating something not suitable for my baby. I have tried to choose jars using the following: I don't use x or y vegetables or fruits in my kitchen so I bought the jar so my DD could try it (like prunes).

FenellaMaxwell Tue 23-Apr-19 21:24:51

You can give them chillies and spice, it’s fine.
Some spices eg. Turmeric are good for digestion. No salt, no sugar, no honey, no whole nuts, whole grapes or whole cherry tomatoes. That’s it.

niknac1 Tue 23-Apr-19 21:26:45

My children had the jars of baby food and thrived on it. As they got older they had their favourite chocolate flavoured pudding jars but they ate our food mashed. I seem to remember moving on from fish pie flavoured jars to real fish pie without too much trouble. I worried more about them eating enough not the quality of the jars as they were absolutely fine.

Veterinari Tue 23-Apr-19 21:27:32

@FenellaMaxwell I am sure my LO would like it, we make a mean curry, but surely chillies and spice wouldnt be great for her digestive system? I get giving veg and natural yoghurt and fruit, but curry?

What on earth do you think babies in Asia eat? You can give babies pretty much any foods that adults eat. The western world’s obsession with ‘bland’ Children’s meals and processed beige crap is one of the reasons we have an obesity epidemic.

happychange Tue 23-Apr-19 21:28:16

Curry is fine just cut out the spice levels or add it on later
What do you think asian parents feed their kids? (I'm Asian!)

Up to you if you want to cook 2 meals but I haven't got time to faff around making a separate dish for DS wink

LilQueenie Tue 23-Apr-19 21:29:28

Dd used to love the baby curry in jars. Its amazing what they will eat. Just cut back on the spice.

RainbowMum11 Tue 23-Apr-19 21:35:22

For the first 6 months it's just fun anyway - gagging is just them getting used to texture. Just give a little bit of what you have each mealtime with some finger foods to gum. Although pouches can be very handy too.

VaselineOnToast Tue 23-Apr-19 21:40:35

When you're eating, just give the little one some bits of your own food. You can mash it up a bit to begin with if choking is a concern. The baby will be able to clumsily palm it into his mouth and explore the texture. smile

Instead of fruit puree, you could give him mashed up fruit, retaining some texture.

SqidgeBum Tue 23-Apr-19 21:42:38

@Veterinari, I lived in Asia. I know what they give babies/toddlers. In Thailand where I lived it was mainly Khao Pad, a sort of plain rice and chicken/pork dish, or sticky rice and fruit. No chillies or major spices, and kids stayed on pretty plain food spice wise til they were about 4. I am not looking to give my kid 'bland food'. I am a FTM who has never seen a baby weaned, who find that everything to do with babies these days is a complete mindfield of what you should and shouldnt do, and I have questions. I am not an idiot. Please dont speak to me like I am one.

OP’s posts: |
SqidgeBum Tue 23-Apr-19 21:46:44

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. It has eased my concerns and worries about having to watch and research everything my LO consumes. I probably was overthinking it, but weaning can be an overwhelming information overload. Keep it simple and go with the flow seems to be the key.

OP’s posts: |
EmmaJR1 Tue 23-Apr-19 21:48:42

I was once told that if a baby likes the smell of something it will open its mouth to receive food.

My daughter LOVES food with spice. I over did the chilli in my sweet potato, chickpea, coconut milk curry once and she loved it 🙄

I didn't do purely BLW but I never did purées.

My daughter had sticks of cucumber, avocado, slightly cooked apple and cheese to start then moved in very quickly to everything else. I do spoon feed her cereal and yoghurt and soup purely because I'm sick of cleaning my walls. She gets too excited!

As for the gagging thing. You learn very quickly the difference between gagging and choking but it's not nice to start with.

Good luck

Stuckforthefourthtime Tue 23-Apr-19 21:48:47

A good gentle start to blw is with steamed batons - steam or even boil finger sized pieces of pear / green apple / carrot / swede etc. They're comforting as they're so soft it's very near puree and won't choke them, bit they can also hold them.
Slightly overcooked broccoli and cauliflower are good for the same reasons, or sweet potato and regular potato sliced up into finger sized pieces.

Also agree about the mussaman curry! My first was puree fed with Annabel Karmel recipes and is now fussy as anything, ds2 and 3 (and now 4) have been given finger food and whatever we eat and are much much better eaters!

CallMeOnMyCell Tue 23-Apr-19 21:59:34

I started off with purées (Ella’s pouches), mashed potato and plain baby porridge. I was advised by the health visitor to try my baby on the same few tastes for a couple of weeks and then introduce new foods. I now give a mixture of pre-prepared baby meals, finger foods and home made food.
Try not to worry OP, do what you feel is best.

CallMeOnMyCell Tue 23-Apr-19 22:01:32

I should add my DD is 10 months. We didn’t want to try BLW because of the mess!

Veterinari Tue 23-Apr-19 22:04:03

@Squidgebum - you seem rather rude confused where exactly have I treated you like an idiot except to point out that of course babies can eat curry (and plenty do!) you’ll be aware (as you’re not an idiot) that Thailand is not all of Asia - there are plenty of other countries in the continent and you are now aware that many children are weaned on spicy food such as curry as happychange and other posters have also pointed out.

There's No need to be rude to posters who are simply answering your questions.

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