I honestly didn’t realize this was a big issue but it is. Make it or buy it? It’s the baby food dilemma. And in this world where literally everyone has a qualifying opinion on how you should tend to your own baby, you’ve got some big decisions to make in the area of baby food. And please know that whatever decision you make, you will be wrong. I kid, of course. Know that whatever decision you make, it is the right one. (Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using one of these links, the cost of the products will not increase for you but you will be supporting this blog and we thank you!)
It’s funny how people think they can answer a question you never asked when it comes to childcare. But, thanks to social media, we all have mega phones and lots to say about lots of things. So…baby food. Make it or buy it? Let me share with you what we did…because we did both. For different reasons.
For our first two children, we bought baby food. I honestly didn’t give a single thought to making it. Both my husband and I worked full-time, which meant the kids were in daycare all day. I know, we’re horrible parents. So, having jars of baby food was extremely convenient, both for packing their bags for daycare and for managing dinner when we all piled into the house, hungry after a long day.
No one died from eating jar baby food. And to my recollection, the kids loved eating it. There was no issue. We did dabble some in the “organic” baby foods once we stumbled upon it by accident. Those marketing geniuses preyed on the insecurities of new parents by slapping the word “organic” on the front of a beautifully natural-looking baby food jar and suddenly we have to spend more money on those jars just so we aren’t bad parents feeding our babies pesticide-ridden baby food. Well played, marketing department.
Now, for our third child, I made the baby food. Let me set the stage a bit here. Baby girl was born prematurely so we had a heightened awareness of her health and making sure she was protected from germs. Legitimately so, as she was at extreme risk of things like RSV and the unknown possible effects of prematurity like a weakened immune system, etc. Also in play, my husband became a stay-at-home dad since baby girl couldn’t go to daycare for at least two years- doctors orders.
So I pumped at work (I had built up a monstrous stash of breastmilk while baby girl was still in the NICU, eating only .5oz while I pumped out a good 6oz every two hours) and she was exclusively breastfed for six months. Then we introduced rice cereal slowly. She stayed on that for a bit because she was still developmentally two months behind. We generally went slower with her, but then she got good at eating the cereal so we decided to add a vegetable.
It was at this point I decided, uneventfully, to make her veggies instead of buy them. I don’t even recall being twisted up about it. I just said, “You know, I’ll just steam veggies, drain them and then store them in ice cube trays so we’ll have ready-to-thaw serving sizes”. It really didn’t take much time at all and it ended up being really convenient. We used these Baby Food Cube Trays to keep the food protected from any possible funky smells in the freezer as well as to help make it super easy to remove the food from the trays.
Once she was ready for combo foods, I just pureed whatever we were eating and put them into ice trays. So she was eating what we were eating. And bonus…she transitioned to table food way easier. She was familiar with the taste and texture we were already serving so it worked out great in that respect.
So, I say all of that to say this…don’t lose any sleep over whether to feed your baby from a jar or to feed your baby homemade baby food. Your baby will be fine either way (unless she has some rare issue that the doctor has specified going one way or the other. In that case, listen to the doc!). Don’t worry about what your friends or your family says.
Do what’s best for you. This is probably the hardest lesson for new parents to learn but you will not break your kids. You have what’s in you to do the best for your family. Trust yourself. Feed your kids. Change their diapers. Love them. Let them sleep. Enjoy them.
Tell us your thoughts on baby food. Is this an issue for you at all? What’s your preference…make it or buy it?