Experts are of the opinion that up to one year old, the most optimal food for a child is special industrial canned food.
But many mothers and especially grandmothers are distrustful of baby food. And first of all, it is explained by a lack of information and an abundance of myths associated with baby food.
Home-made purees and juices contain more vitamins than industrial baby food. Fresh vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins only in "their" season. Several months of storage, even with observance of all norms (which, unfortunately, is extremely rare), and apart from fiber and starch, little remains in them. When you puree fresh vegetables and fruits, most of the vitamins and nutrients also "disappear". So, during cooking, about 20% of vitamin B and more than 50% of vitamin C are lost. It is impossible to restore the lost "wealth" at home. But the product prepared in an industrial environment has everything you need. Some canned baby foods are additionally fortified with beta-carotene, iron, iodine, potassium and vitamin C in doses close to the daily requirement of children of the corresponding age. In addition, no one will give you a guarantee that the vegetables and fruits bought in the market grew in an ecologically clean area, and not on the side of the motorway. When you buy them, you cannot check if they contain lead and radionuclides. And, of course, no one will admit to you that they were fertilized with chemical fertilizers. Do you feed your baby only with what has grown in your garden and in your garden? Do you take eggs and meat from a well-known neighbor? Unfortunately, product safety cannot be fully guaranteed here either. Who knows how and where a nearby industrial plant dumps waste? As for canned food, it is made from proven quality products, grown, harvested, processed and packaged in compliance with all safety standards.
Baby food contains dangerous preservatives. The use of chemical preservatives in the production of baby food is prohibited. Modern heat treatment technologies and vacuum packaging provide the possibility of long-term storage of the product without their use. Only vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is used as a "preservative" in the industrial production of baby food, which does not cause any harm to the child's body and significantly increases the nutritional value of the product.
There are many additives in canned food for babies. In addition to the main product, the composition of canned foods for children does indeed contain a certain set of components (corn or wheat starch, rice flour, etc.). Each of them performs a specific function, thereby ensuring a balanced product due to the complementary combination of various ingredients. Additional additives significantly increase the nutritional value and make the product easier to digest. Industrial purees and juices correspond to the metabolic characteristics of the child's body. But the use of flavors, spices, dyes and flavorings in the production of baby food is prohibited.
Children are allergic to baby food. Industrial canned food for children is made taking into account the health characteristics of modern children. Manufacturers produce special food for babies with intolerance to cow's milk proteins, gluten (cereal protein) or food allergies. As for the allergic reaction to canned food, it, in most cases, is explained by the incorrect introduction of complementary foods. Often mothers are in a hurry to please the little ones with a new delicacy ahead of time. Without even knowing it, they expose the child's body to excessive stress. As a result, the child, who is not accustomed to such delights, becomes covered with an allergic rash. To prevent this, follow the basic rules for the introduction of complementary foods. Each new product should be given to the baby in small quantities, gradually increasing the dose. If the product causes allergies, then it should be excluded from the child's diet for a while. Practice shows that the risk of adverse reactions, provided that all the rules for introducing complementary foods are observed, for canned products is less than for homemade ones.
Baby food is more expensive. At first glance, homemade fruit or vegetable puree is actually cheaper. But we must not forget that children need variety in their diet. If you count how many apples, cabbage or berries you need to make 100 g of the corresponding puree, it turns out that store counterparts will cost much less.
Children eat freshly mashed potatoes and juice better. Indeed, sometimes children eat homemade puree better. This is due to the fact that, as a rule, mothers add salt or sugar to the puree to improve the taste, which is not available in canned food. At the same time, children under 1.5 years of age are categorically not recommended to add salt and sweeten food. The fact is that the kidneys of the child are still underdeveloped and poorly remove sodium salt from the body. And an excessive amount of sugar contributes to the development of caries, exerts a load on the pancreas and forms a habit of sweets. Until the child has tasted salt and sugar, he can easily do without them and happily eat mashed potatoes from jars. But, having recognized a salty or sweet taste, he begins to feel the need for it and categorically rejects healthy, but insipid baby food.
Baby food is often counterfeited. Now in Russia there is strict control over the quality of baby food. All food for sale is subject to strict expert control. The examination includes an assessment of the compliance of products with safety standards, a study of nutritional value (content of proteins, fats, vitamins, etc.). Organoleptic expertise is mandatory: taste, smell, color, stratification / non-stratification of the product, the rate of its dissolution, packaging. Information in the media about withdrawals from the sale of the next batch of low-quality baby food is explained precisely by strict control over the quality of baby food. By purchasing "jars" in large stores, you protect yourself from low-quality goods.
After baby food, it will be difficult for the child to move to the "adult" table. Difficulties in the transition from ready-made food to the "adult" table are associated with the use of baby food, inappropriate for the age of the baby. Often mothers up to 10-12 months feed the baby with mashed potatoes intended for 3-4-month-old crumbs, and then abruptly switch him to "solid" food. Such a sharp transition will not only be difficult for the baby, but also adversely affect the work of the gastrointestinal tract. In this case, the child "skips" the food intended for 6, 8 and 10-month-old children, and his body remains unprepared for the transition to the "adult" table. After all, ready-made food is produced with different degrees of grinding. For children under 6 months - homogenized purees, for 6-8 months old babies - puree, and for children over 9 months old with teeth - coarsely ground foods. Depending on the age of the child, the development of the skill to chew, he needs to buy products, taking into account the degree of their grinding - from homogenized puree to those containing small pieces. Age-appropriate baby food gradually "prepares" the child's gastrointestinal tract for "adult" food. While at home it is very difficult to monitor the consistency of the puree and gradually change it.
- Baby food contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and trace elements in the right amount.
- The consistency of industrial puree corresponds to the age of the baby. While at home, it is almost impossible to regulate the degree of grinding of the products that make up the puree.
- Baby food does not contain salt and sugar.
- Canned food for children is made from environmentally friendly raw materials.
- Baby food provides the child with a varied diet.
- Using industrial puree saves time. It is enough just to warm up the jar.
- Ready meals are convenient for transportation. You can take the jar with you on the road, for a visit or for a picnic. You will always have the opportunity to provide your baby with a complete diet.
When buying baby food, pay attention to:
- Integrity of the packaging: if the jar or lid is damaged, then you should never buy such food.
- Date of manufacture and expiry date: it is necessary to make sure that the product is usable. For baby food, as a rule, expiration dates are displayed on the bottom or on the lid of the can. If something is not clear, the numbers are erased or illegible, it is better not to purchase such a jar. Another indicator of the "suitability" of the product is the lid of the jar: if the product is fresh, its middle should be slightly depressed, and if it is expired or defective, it is swollen. When opening fresh food, you should hear a characteristic pop, which indicates that the jar has been tightly closed.
- The age indicated on the label. For example, an 8-month-old baby is not forbidden to offer fruit or vegetable puree, designed for a 5-6 month old baby. But it is impossible to give a young child a puree intended for an older age category.
- Composition. It is necessary to choose the right food according to the ingredient composition. If the child does not tolerate milk or cottage cheese, then you cannot buy mashed potatoes based on them.