Home-made baby foods vs commercially processed ones
Once a baby gets to the age when other foods besides breastmilk and/or formula no more supply all the needed food nutrients, introducing complementary feeding is encouraged. This is usually when the baby is around 4 to 6 months of age. Pediatricians and pediatric research recommend that complementary feeding should not be introduced before a baby gets to 4 months, and should be introduced not later than 6 months. By then, babies have needs beyond breastmilk and their digestive systems are deemed mature enough to handle baby foods.
Once a baby starts eating complementary foods, many mothers in Nigeria often wonder what other options they have besides pap/akamu/ogi and processed and commercially processed and packaged baby foods one can get in the shops. While offering a baby processed foods may not be a bad option, feeding babies on wholesome, home-made foods is always a better option with enormous benefits which include;
You know exactly what you are feeding your baby. If you want to prepare potato puree for your baby, you have the opportunity of selecting the best of potatoes you can lay your hands on. Also, you know you are getting 100% puree, no additives, no preservatives as found in commercially processed and pre-packaged baby food.
It is usually cheaper.
You can twist the food to suit your baby's preference. You may notice that your baby likes a particular food or fruit more than others, you could then decide to add a little of the preferred food item to less preferred ones to help the baby eat more varieties of foods. Like adding a mixture of vegetables to make a puree like this.
Sometimes, especially for older babies of 10 months of age and above, 'home-made' baby food could be as simple as a pureed or mashed version of what the rest of the family is having.
Preparing home-made baby foods may not be as convenient as preparing the commercially packaged ones, but the certainly are healthier and safer if handled well.