Is Packaged Baby Food Safe for my Baby?
As your little one continues to grow, their nutritional requirements change, often leaving you wondering. At the store, there’s an overwhelming amount of options. When it comes to choosing packaged food for your baby, you may be wondering, “How do I choose the best packaged baby food“ and “Is packaged baby food safe for my baby?” Read on to learn more!
What is Packaged Baby Food?
Store-bought packaged baby food refers to ready-made food products created especially for babies and toddlers. These foods come in various forms like purees, cereals, snacks, and drinks, and are packed in easy-to-use containers. Packaged baby food is a great choice for busy parents who might not have much time to make food from scratch. Remember to check the labels and think about what your baby needs when you’re choosing these foods.
Is Packaged Baby Food Safe for my Baby?
Yes! Packaged baby food is safe for babies. These foods are carefully made to give babies the right nutrients as they grow. Companies follow strict rules to make sure these foods are safe and healthy for babies, without any harmful materials or additives (1).
Different Types of Packaged Baby Food
- Glass jars (filled with purees)
- Plastic containers (e.g. puffed snacks)
- Plastic pouches (filled with purees)
- Boxed food (e.g. baby rice)
How do I Safely Use Packaged Baby Food?
- Check the date marked as the best before or expiration date (2). Avoid using baby food past this date.
- Avoid directly feeding your baby from the jar (2). Instead, transfer the baby food to a separate dish. This will stop your baby’s saliva from making the food go bad.
- When you uncap a jar of baby food, pay attention to a popping noise (2). If you don’t hear this noise, don’t use it, it is not properly sealed.
Pros and Cons of Packaged Baby Food
Here are some pros and cons to consider when choosing packaged baby food (3):
- Convenience: ready-to-eat and easy-to-carry, packaged baby food is a time-saver for busy parents.
- Safety: baby food brands follow safety regulations, minimizing the risk of contamination or harmful additives.
- No food preparation: this reduces anxiety over planning and preparing baby food (4).
- Variety: the market offers a wide range of flavours and textures.
- Cost: purchasing pre-packaged baby food can be more expensive compared to homemade alternatives.
- Environmental impact: single-use packaging generates more waste, contributing to environmental concerns.
- Added ingredients: some packaged baby foods contain added sugars, salts, and preservatives that might not be suitable for your baby.
Final Notes from The Nest
Feeding your baby is a journey where your choices matter most. Safety is key, and beyond that, there’s no single “right” way to feed your baby. Picking the right packaged baby food will depend on many personal factors. Different brands offer a variety of options, and the choice you make depends on what’s best for your baby and what aligns with your family’s needs. If you’re unsure about which brand or type of packaged baby food to choose, book a consultation with one of our registered dietitians.
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- Canada, H. (2023, February 17). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/food-safety/packaging-materials.html
- All about store bought Baby Food. All About Store Bought Baby Food – Unlock Food. (2018, July 25). https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Infant-feeding/All-About-Store-Bought-Baby-Food.aspx
- Isaacs, A., Neve, K., & Hawkes, C. (2012, December 12). Why do parents use packaged infant foods when starting complementary feeding? Findings from phase one of a longitudinal qualitative study. Gale Academic Onefile. https://go-gale-com.proxy1.lib.uwo.ca/ps/i.do?p=AONE&u=lond95336&id=GALE%7CA729849188&v=2.1&it=r
- Team, C. H. (2021, December 30). Homemade or from the jar: Which baby food is best?. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/from-the-jar-or-blender-which-baby-food-is-best/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThe%20quality%20of%20processed%20baby,as%20they%20do%20it%20safely.%E2%80%9D
- Solid Starts [Internet]. Brooklyn: Solid Starts LLC; c2019-2022. Readiness to babies to start solid food; [about 7 screens]. Available from: https://solidstarts.com/readiness/