Gerber vs Homemade Baby Food
Gerber vs homemade baby food: which is better? When you walk down the baby section of your grocery store, you will see lots of jars of baby food… lots and lots. Are these as good as homemade baby foods that you prepare yourself?
The answer is yes and no. The big advantage of commercially available baby foods is that they’re affordable and they’re easy. When I go on vacation or when I anticipate being out with my toddler for a long time, I will always bring a jar of Gerber food. It’s a sure way of giving my child good food with little mess. The key word here is convenience.
That being said, there’s a lot of reasons why homemade baby food is better:
- No additives: When you prepare your own baby food, you know what’s in it. Typically, you just add a little water to help cook the food and that’s all. Click here to learn how to cook baby food.
Do you really know what’s in the baby food jars in the grocery store? This study determined that Heinz and Gerber (Stage 2) baby foods have added water and thickening agents (Stage 1 Gerber foods were not diluted with fillers). These additives do not harm your toddler, but it’s not the best food either. Plus, it’s not a cost effective way to feed your family. Why pay for starchy thickeners?
- Fresher: If you make your baby food everyday, then homemade baby food is more fresh, more nutritious, and tastier than the jars which are sitting in the grocery store shelves.
Admittedly, most Moms prepare prepare baby food in larger batches and freeze it in small serving sizes. So, some the nutrients will be lost during freeze & thaw.
- Variety and Flavor: at any one grocery store, you can expect to find 20+ flavors of baby food – that’s a good selection. But if you prepare your own baby food, you will have more choices!
In addition to a greater variety of foods, you can also flavor the food to match the flavors & ingredients you & your family are eating. This way, your toddler will gradually accept and incorporate the table foods that your family is eating. In fact, if you have been breastfeeding, your toddler might already be primed to accept table foods.
- Price: A jar of baby food is only about 70¢ so that’s pretty affordable. However, homemade baby food is even cheaper! The cost of the food itself is less than what you pay to buy prepared baby food. With homemade baby food, you only pay for the food itself; you don’t have to pay for labor, shipping, storage, and the cost of the jar itself.
- Environmentally Friendly: so… what happens to the baby jar after your toddler eats the food? It goes into the garbage or recycling bin. Making your own baby food is more environmentally friendly because you won’t need to dispose all those baby jars.