BHealthy Blog

Homemade vs. store-bought baby food

Janell Vinson, MD   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

ProsCons
● 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

ProsCons
● 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 some food and buy some. 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. For more information about your baby’s milestones, baby food recipes, nutrition and more, download our ‘Mom Life: Caring for Your Baby’ E-book.

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