As a parent, one of the most important things you think about is your baby’s diet. Naturally, you only want to provide the best for your child, including giving them adequate nutrition for their growth. However, many parents face a common challenge when deciding when their baby is ready for its first solids.
Aside from figuring out when your baby is ready to eat solid food, you also need to consider what type of food to give them. Should you buy ready-to-eat baby foods or make these from scratch in your kitchen? With all the information available online, it’s easy to get confused about the correct answer.
So you’ve seen the signs that your baby is ready to eat baby food. What then? Now, you need to plan out what food will be best for them. Generally, ready-to-eat baby food is a convenient option if you don’t have time to prepare meals regularly. It also has a longer shelf life, so you won’t need to worry about food going bad and getting wasted.
But with all these benefits come several misconceptions. Check out the top myths about ready-to-eat baby foods debunked below to shed more light on this topic.
One of the advantages of making homemade baby food is you can control the ingredients to ensure it doesn’t contain preservatives or harmful additives. However, this has led to the idea that ready-to-eat baby food contains tons of sugar and salt, which isn’t always the case.
Make sure you choose baby food with no added sugar or salt, and read through the ingredients list thoroughly. Of course, every food manufacturer is different, so it’s crucial to read the labels before buying anything for your child. When in doubt, always do your research to provide the most nutritional value to your little one.
Parents often worry that ready-to-eat baby foods—or solid foods in general—can make their babies picky eaters. But sometimes, it’s not necessarily the type of food but timing and feeding styles that can cause babies to be fussy with their meals. Generally, babies start developing food preferences in their first two years of life. Thus, whatever they eat at this time can affect their long-term eating habits.
So to curb this worry, one thing you can do is introduce your baby to a variety of textures and flavors. Explore new ready-to-eat baby foods and change up the menu from time to time to help your baby build a versatile palate and be open to new tastes.
Similar to the first misconception, another common assumption is that ready-to-eat baby food is unhealthy or that homemade baby food is much healthier. But it’s important to note that packaged baby food in stores must abide by FDA’s guidelines and safety standards before it can go on shelves. Additionally, most ready-to-eat baby food products are pasteurized or cooked at high temperatures to kill bacteria.
Generally, many assume that ready-to-eat baby foods aren’t tasty. For some, it could be because they aren’t the most visually appealing. Or for others, it may be that they think it’s not delicious since it’s not made fresh.
While taste varies per brand and manufacturer, ready-to-eat baby foods can be just as delicious as their homemade counterparts—especially if made with real food. However, as a word of caution, don’t forget to check the ingredients list when assessing what products to get. You should always verify if the top ingredient reflects the type of food you’re buying. For example, if you’re buying a jar of pumpkin, this should be the first ingredient on the label.
Again, there’s a big misconception that ready-to-eat baby foods are unhealthy and thus lack the proper nutrients. However, this isn’t true, as some options in the market today are packed with nutrients for your child. Ultimately, it boils down to studying the labels carefully.
When reading baby food labels, check the first three ingredients to know the major components. Ideally, you should only choose products with natural foods and no sugar, salt, margarine, butter, fillers, and additives. Also, you don’t need to limit yourself to fruit or vegetable purees. Your baby also needs calories or iron, so try looking for ready-to-eat products with whole grains or meat.
Finally, some parents fear that ready-to-eat baby foods may cause illness since they are processed. Of course, these are all valid concerns, but you can take comfort in the fact that many brands have taken strides to create the safest baby food products. Nowadays, you’ll find companies that use non-GMO ingredients with no sugar, salt, fillers, or artificial preservatives.
Knowing when your little one is ready to eat baby food can be challenging as it works on a case-to-case basis. But once your baby is prepared for this big step, you’ll need to find the right food to incorporate into their diet. Contrary to most assumptions, ready-to-eat baby foods aren’t necessarily bad for your child, as long as you shop cautiously and make informed decisions.
Here at Sunleaf Foods, we have a variety of ready-to-eat food in our product range. So if you’re looking for reliable and transparent ready-to-eat baby food suppliers that source ingredients ethically, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 949-799-4820.