Recent research suggests commercially prepared products don’t provide weaning babies with enough sufficient nutrients.
All parents have been there (we definitely have). Intimidated by the weaning process we reach for the traditional commercial baby food thinking it is the healthiest option. Believing the baby food manufacturers are sitting in the factories carefully measuring out just the right amount of naturally occurring nutrients and squeezing them into their pouches for our precious tiny ones.
Why fresh baby food is best
Unfortunately, an overwhelming amount of new research suggests the contrary is true.
The department of Human Nutrition at Glasgow University said many commercial baby weaning foods 'would not serve the intended purpose, of giving a baby adequate nutrients OR help them develop a range of tastes and textures’ . UH OH!
If you put aside the actual ingredients (which can be as low as 5% meat in a 'meat based' spaghetti bolognaise dish for example) and look at the processes the baby food goes through you can see how this could occur and the available nutrients could diminish before our very eyes.
Effects of pasteurisation
In order to appeal to little ones and to gain the right mushy consistency baby food is often heated (we recommend steaming rather than boiling) and then pureed. Fine, right? However, unlike at home, the process does not stop there. Manufactured baby food is then pasteurised at high temperatures to prevent spoilage, killing bacteria (both good and bad) and resulting in a shelf life which is measured in years...
Baby & Toddler food nutrients
Unfortunately, many baby and toddler food nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes can’t survive high temperatures. One being Vitamin C, which loss in pasteurisation usually exceeds 50%, loss of other water soluble vitamins can run as high as 80%.
It also alters the mineral components within the baby food such as calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and sulphur as well as trace minerals making them less available to the body to absorb.
Ever wondered why the vibrant colour & taste of your fresh homemade purees is so different to that you squeeze from the pouch bought in a supermarket? It is as if the food is no longer living.
As a result our tiny ones require double the amount of commercial baby food in order to gain a similar amount of essential nutrients they gain from handmade fresh baby food, which doesn’t help your wallet either.