Benefits of Homemade Food for Babies & Toddlers

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It is always faster and easier to give babies cereals and store-bought food, especially when you don’t understand what your baby likes or you don’t know what food is healthier to introduce your baby to after weaning him off breastmilk.

Introducing homemade food to your baby has several benefits for your child and you, the parent. Here are some of the benefits of homemade foods;

Nutritional value

Nutritional content in homemade food has a higher chance of containing more nutrients than baby food from the store shelf. Shelf-stable baby food is heated at very high temperatures to prevent food poisoning and infections from bacteria, fungi, and possibly viruses. This process of heating destroys proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for brain development and growth in children. Cooking your baby’s food at home enables you to monitor the temperature. You are also responsible for all that goes into the food, and you determine how rich it is in nutritional value.

Prevention of allergies

You should know about the food allergies within the family. This knowledge enables you to stay away from certain things when preparing food for your baby. In case your child develops an allergy after eating a particular food, the allergen can easily be traced. But if your child reacts poorly to the baby food you bought from the shelf, the allergen wouldn’t be easily traced because of all the numerous additives present.

Healthy and fresh meals

Who wouldn’t love a freshly prepared food? Even infants and toddlers do. Making your child’s food at home allows you to give him healthy meals. You could give your child a gluten-free diet from your kitchen, protein-packed snacks, vitamins rich meals, fruit puree, all of which is healthy, fresh, and he will love it. Healthy meals make your child’s skin glow, limit how easily he can come down with an infection, and prevents fat deposits in the wrong places while at the same time helping the brain and physical development.

Related Article: Learn Early Nutrition and Meal Plan for Your Baby

Maintain taste of food the baby is used to

A child is used to the taste of the mother’s food from the womb and the breastmilk. Introducing that baby to meals cooked at home wouldn’t be strange. Many babies resist shelf stored baby food because of the sudden change from what they used to know. Some children eventually settle the baby food bought and some resist and would prefer being fed with meals made at home. Never make the mistake to force-feed an infant or toddler who rejects baby cereals and foods. Take time to find out what the child likes and prepare his food for him. Also, create a variety of taste for him. Don’t stick with making one type of meal.

Homemade food has a better flavor.

I am almost certain you prefer the taste of freshly barbequed chicken or fish to canned sardines and portions of bacon. That is the same way a baby feels about his best homemade food and the baby food in cans and plastics. Food store on the shelf with a shelf life of two or more years says a lot about all the processing it has undergone to stay that long, and that is not the best call when talking about eating healthy.

Less consumption of chemical additives.

A child deserves to eat healthily. Eating healthy isn’t only for adults. If you want your toddler to consume less of the chemical additives present in the world today, then you need to take time to be responsible for making your toddler’s food. Store-bought baby foods have preservatives, nutrients that aren’t from natural sources, but are synthesized. We all are aware of how all these additives and biochemicals have largely impacted the world. Lowering body immunity, triggering things that have caused many health challenges today. Consumption of some of these things as a baby can come back to haunt later in adulthood. 

A child’s body might not be able to breakdown some of the biochemical and chemicals used in preparing and preserving baby food. Most of these molecules that aren’t broken down are stored in the body, which could later cause damage. But feeding your child with homemade food reduces the chances of a child’s exposure to these additives.

Read Also: Foods That Will Make Your Kids Grow Tall

Meal plan

Do you introduce a healthy meal plan for your child because you want the child to eat right? Then preparing the food by yourself at home makes your target achievable. Instead of cutting back on the serving of baby foods and cereals, you should give your child protein-rich home-cooked meals. That would keep him fuller for longer with the possibility of not being overweight in view. 

Factors that can prevent you from giving your child home-cooked meals especially if you are a working mother are

  1. Time: you might not have the time at your disposal to prepare meals for your child regularly, especially if you have a clingy or crying baby. A well-prepared meal plan is the best to guide you on what to cook, even on the busiest days. 
  2. Storing freshly made food in the freezer or refrigerator, which you might not like.
  3. Many times organic food and fresh fruits are not as cheap as you would prefer them to be so that you can save cost.
  4. Possible contamination from pathogens which could cause diarrhea and vomiting.

The benefits of homemade food for your baby outweighs all your fears. Put all the necessary hygienic conditions in place, put away your worries, and make out time to cook the meals, and you will raise a happy and healthy. 

healthy meal plan for babies within 6-24 months of age

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