BHealthy Blog

Homemade vs. Store-Bought Baby Food

Janell Vinson, MD, OB/GYN with Baptist Health Pediatric Clinic-Conway

Once you have made the decision to introduce a different kind of food to your baby, it’s time to think about the kind of food you will be introducing and the nutritional value of baby food. The age-old question arises: do we feed our baby homemade or store-bought baby food?

At Baptist Health, we encourage parents to make their choice based on their own research and preference, but we have compiled a list of pros and cons to help you make the decision. Your baby should be ready for solids between 4 and 6 months of age. If you are unsure about your baby’s readiness, be sure to talk to your pediatrician.

Homemade baby food

● It’s less expensive than store-bought baby food and can be stored in bulk.● Because you’ll likely make the food in batches, it can be difficult to store.
● You have full control over what your baby is eating. You can ensure that there are no added preservatives, sugars or salt.● Homemade baby food can be difficult to keep fresh.
● Making baby food at home creates familiarity with new flavors and family eating habits.● The process of cooking and pureeing the baby food is time consuming.

If you think that making homemade baby food is right for you and your baby, we have a great article about how to prepare homemade baby food.

Store-bought baby food

● All the baby food that you can buy in the US meets strict US FDA regulations for safety.● It is usually more expensive than homemade baby food.
● Store-bought baby food is portable and easy for “on-the-go” parents.● Continuing to buy store-bought baby food (and the packing it comes with) is less environmentally friendly than making baby food at home.
● Store-bought baby food requires no preparation.● You will have less control over ingredients like sugar, salt and preservatives.

Another option is to make food sometimes and buy sometimes. Many parents choose to have store-bought baby food on hand and make homemade baby food when they have the time to prepare and safely store it. You make the rules.