There's no arguing with the idea that starting out in life with a healthy, balanced diet is a big positive for setting the stage for growing into healthy children, teenagers and adults. It's just one aspect of laying the right foundations among many others that can make a big difference to how healthy a child may be as he or she grows older. While you can get a lot of information on parenting new babies online from site like baby-source.com, it's also important to look into nutrition and portion control even at this early stage in a child's life.
Once a baby is eating solid food, there are choices that parents can make as to what exactly they will feed him or her. We have already looked at the negative properties on convenience foods in older children, but how many people actually stop and consider that those handy pots of ready-made baby food might not be as healthy as they appear?
Additives in Baby Food
Speaking from first hand experience here, I noticed that some brands, especially the cheaper ones, contained additives that I wasn't happy with. Some of the cheapest commercially available baby foods were full of preservatives, flavorings and I even found some with artificial colorants, added salt and sugar. These are the very ingredients that I purposely avoid feeding myself with, let alone a young child in my care!
You, I and everyone else has a choice. I chose to shun commercially available, ready prepared baby foods altogether because I didn't trust them to be totally natural and healthy for my baby. You need to consider your choices too.
What is the Alternative?
It's patently obvious, yet so many people don't see what is right there under their noses. Baby food is simply a mixture of vegetables and perhaps some meat that is literally turned to mush to make it easy to eat for someone with no teeth! You'll find in most kitchens these days a collection of handy appliances for preparing and cooking food.
If you have a blender or a food processor, you have at your disposal and fast and easy way to make your own, super healthy, additive-free baby food. The benefits are many fold.
The food can be freshly prepared in batches and then divided up into the right portion size for a single meal and put into in small sterilized containers. Use one right away while the rest are frozen for the rest of the week.
How easy and relatively convenient is that?
What Goes Into the Food?
Personally, I went one step further and made just enough food for a single day in a mini-blender. For me, it was no hassle and it's kind of nice to know that baby is getting a fresh prepared meal every day. But I get that moms are busy and making up a larger amount and freezing is perfectly all right too. So what went into the food I prepared?
I kept it pretty simple, healthy and nutritious as well as tasty. The food contained a carrot, a small potato, a medium floret of broccoli and a small cube of butternut squash as its base. To that I added a small piece of chicken or white fish (or salmon if I had some) once she was able to eat meat/fish. It was boiled together in a little water and then drained and allowed to cool, then put in the food processor with a tiny piece of finely chopped raw onion, a little olive oil and processed into mush.
Baby loved the food and always ate the whole portion. As a dessert, she would have a small piece of mushed fruit, usually a piece of apple, peach or pear. As she grew older, the choice of foods increased and meals got more interesting. The mush gradually became coarser as her teeth came through until she was able to chew small, soft pieces of vegetables or fruit.
My daughter is gong on three and eats normal meals with us. I only prepare and cook home cooked meals made from fresh ingredients. The great thing is she never asks for the processed junk that I know some other parents feed their kids out of convenience. She enjoys her food and that makes me happy because I know she is eating healthily.
To me, preparing and cooking a healthy meal for me and my family each day is no hassle at all. I have a lot of respect for my body's health and the same goes for my family. I view all convenience foods as potentially harmful in the long term so I simply don't buy them.
As I already said, everyone has a choice. I choose healthy over convenience. I work during the day like many moms, but while many of my friends get home and feel too tired to bother spending any time in the kitchen, I actually look forward to it.
I see my choices on getting home from work as either:
- Slumping down in front of the TV while the microwave heats up some packaged junk for my family to eat
- Foregoing the mind numbing trash on the TV and seeing to it that my myself and my family are healthily fed
You choose which you want. But you have the power to influence your child's health and their weight through what you feed them on. Choose wisely.