What to look out for in your baby’s food
10 min read
There are so many options when it comes to baby food, so what should you consider?
Here at Babease, we know what matters for your little one during weaning. No matter who you choose, we’re here to help you make an informed choice.
Picking the right food for the weaning journey can be confusing and overwhelming. With hidden sugars and misleading labels, you can unknowingly feed your little one products that are lacking nutrients, calories and vegetables.
In this blog, we explore the key things to look for when shopping for baby food. Whether you choose Babease pouches or something different, we hope this guide will help you make an informed decision.
Not only do you need to make sure your baby’s food has nutritious ingredients, but also in a large enough quantity. Baby food labels can be confusing, especially with ambiguity around the exact percentage of ingredients in products.
When looking at labels, the largest quantity ingredient will appear first and then go in descending order. So, if you see an “apple and carrot puree” in the shops, it’s likely that there will be more sweet apple than nutritious carrot.
To avoid feeding your baby overly-sweet purees, try to stick to food pouches that clearly display what’s in your baby’s food. Here at Babease, we provide ingredient wheels with all our products, showing how much of each ingredient is included.
You should introduce as many vegetables to your baby’s palate as possible when weaning, especially during the first few months.
Most baby pouches have a higher concentration of fruit to make them more palatable for little ones. This concentrated fruit can lead to babies becoming too familiar with sweet tastes, making it more challenging to get them eating vegetables.
Also, high fruit pouches can sometimes include almost double the amount of sugar compared to vegetable-led purees.
To avoid giving your little one too much sweet stuff, look for pouches with various vegetables, including more bitter-tasting ones, such as broccoli or kale. Including these in your baby’s weaning food as much as possible gives them the best start on their lifelong relationship with food.
The word ‘organic’ is used a lot in marketing nowadays. However, we promise that there’s more to it than just a name, and they offer plenty for your little one.
Foods certified as organic are free from pesticides, chemicals and synthetic fertilisers to which babies can be sensitive. Research also suggests that organic produce is more nutritious, with some organic crops shown to contain more antioxidants.
Some organic food regulations allow a small leeway of pesticides in organic farming, so it is always essential to wash or peel fruits when you can.
As we mentioned above with ingredients, another thing to be mindful of is any added water content.
Water is often added to baby food to stretch out ingredients, but it’s not always explicitly shown on the label. Coconut water adds extra nutrients to baby food and contains lauric acid, which is also found in breast milk. However, plain water can often dilute the purée, resulting in lower energy density and fewer nutrients.
If you can, try to buy pouches that don’t include too much added water and are therefore more nutrient-dense.
While as adults, we often talk about reducing calories, these can be important for your little one.
Added water to baby food can often lead to the calories being reduced. This reduction is important, as babies need enough calories to feel full.
Commercial baby food only has around 59 calories per 100g on average. You should look to feed your baby around 70 calories per 100g to ensure they get a nutritious and substantial meal.
At six months, babies can become susceptible to intolerances. When you start weaning, try to introduce things like peanuts, gluten and dairy in small doses, one at a time and with a few days in-between. Doing this helps prevent intolerances and makes sure that you know exactly what foods trigger a reaction if there is any intolerance.
In a perfect world, we would all love to feed our little ones fresh, homemade meals. However, when you need something quick and nutritious, shop-bought baby food can be a real lifesaver! We hope this guide will help you make the best decision for your little one the next time you’re running around the supermarket!