jarred babyfood

Rosie - posted on 01/19/2011 ( 64 moms have responded )

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so i've seen on here alot recently people calling jarred babyfood "crap." can i ask WHY that is? the ingredients on the back say green beans and water, or apples and water. what is so "crappy" about that? does anybody have any actual evidence that jarred food is crap, or is that just something we've all convinced ourselves to seem like making the food is worth the hassle?

i hope i'm not coming off as saying that homemade food is crap either, lol. i just don't get what is so bad about jarred food. :)

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Rosie - posted on 01/19/2011

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they can get it to last that long because its canned, like you would can veggies at home and leave on the shelf for a year. no presevatives needed.

i can see how using frozen or fresh veggies would be better, but when i hear jarred food is crap, it made me think there was something actually wrong with it. i always read the nutrition labels and it doesn't seem nutritionally void to me.
i would also think that cooking the food, especially food that's been sitting around a couple of days (and honestly when you buy from the supermarket you don't know how long it's been sitting there) decreases the nutrition dramatically. more so than canned veggies and fruits. with the jars, it's picked when ripe and then canned. everything i'm seeing says canned is not THAT much nutritionally worse than fresh, and frozen. http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetConten...

i agree that it would HAVE to taste better, and definitley would be less money, but to call the jarred stuff crap and nutritionally void seems like a long shot to me. unless of course you feed your kid the dessert ones, or the ones with additives, which i did not do, lol! :)

Carolyn - posted on 01/19/2011

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Bananas – fresh
VITAMINS:Vitamin A - 95 IU /Vitamin C - 11 mg /Folate (important during pregnancy) - 22.5 mcg
/Vitamin B6 - .7mcg /Niacin - .6 mg /Pantothenic Acid - .31 mg /Vitamin E - .67 IU

MINERALS:/Potassium - 467 mg /Magnesium - 43 mg
Phosphorus - 27 mg /Calcium - 7 mg /Selenium - 1.3 mg /Iron - .4 mg /Also contains trace amounts of zinc, manganese and copper

Gerber lists 45 % of daily vitamin C and 0 % iron and calcium, and 0 % of everything else listed on their jar.


Peas fresh

VITAMINS Vitamin A - 955.2iu /Vitamin C - 22.72 mg /Niacin - 3.23 mg /Folate - 100.8 mcg /Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - .41 mg /Vitamin B6 - .35 mg
Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.
MINERALS/Potassium - 433.6 mg /Phosphorus - 187.2 mg /Magnesium - 62.4 mg /Calcium - 43.2 mg /Sodium - 4.8 mg /Selenium - 3.0 mg /Iron - 2.5 mg /Zinc - 1.9 mg /Manganese - .8 mg

Gerber peas List: Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron yet no vitaminc C ? when it has double the amount found in bananas

so these 2 examples alone tell me that their method of preparation is clearly destroying the nutrtional content, atleast, some if not most or all that is found in freshly made and frozen foods.

i could go on and compare all the foods, but im sure the point is made.

i actually found the walmart, parents choice to have more nurtitional value when comparing between gerber and heinz, i was surprised.

Krista - posted on 01/19/2011

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Speaking from my own experience only, I found that the jarred vegetables were very overcooked, which meant that a fair bit of the nutrients were gone.

As an example, if you taste jarred peas, they basically taste like smushed-up canned peas.

When I made peas for the baby, I'd use frozen, because they're just given a quick blanch and are then flash-frozen, which preserves a lot of the nutrients. I could really tell the difference.

Not to say I didn't use jarred food sometimes. I found that the Heinz "Mom's Recipe" ones were quite nice, particularly if we were on the road. But as a general rule, I found jarred food to be a lot less economical, and with a hell of a lot more waste (all those little bottles!)

And I know it seems like a major hassle to make baby food, but it really wasn't that bad. I could nuke 4 cups of peas and roast a great big platter of root vegetables. Easy-peasy. Throw each type of veg in the food processor until it was the right texture, spoon 'em into ice cube trays, pop them in the freezer, and Bob's your uncle! It would take me about a half an hour total (not including roasting time, but I could go do other stuff while the veg was in the oven), and I'd usually wind up with almost a month's worth of veg.

So yeah, it was a bit more work than opening a jar, but at least I knew EXACTLY how it was prepared, and what cleanliness standards were in place while it was prepared.

[deleted account]

jenn....that's what i call a loop hole, some ingredients don't need to be labeled, that loop hole is taken advantage of with technicalities....Natural flavor, spice, or artificial flavor is a way to not put what is actually in the food on the label, it covers every additive. Again, loophole to not put on what is ACTUALLY in the food.

[deleted account]

I didnt read this, sorry if i repeat anything.



I wouldn't say crap.....but even though the ingredients say only the vegetable or fruit, its pasteurized, and through the cooking process, all the natural fiber, minerals, and enzymes are killed in the food. Its over cooked to make sure of no bacteria as well. When we cook food at home we use a milder temperature and don't cook it until its liquefied.The longer its cooked, the less nutritious. Plus the lids to the jar food have BPA in them. That soft squishy rubber on the top of the lid. The jar foods for older babies have preserves, fillers and synthetic vitamins. The rules for labeling food in general lets companies hide ingredients. If you have something that said natural flavor on it, that could mean MSG. They don't have to list all of the ingredients anymore.

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Jenn - posted on 01/23/2011

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Where is it on the site you showed me? Because I don't see it. Perhaps we're interpreting things differently, because what I read from that site said that something like starch only doesn't have to be listed when it's an ingredient of an ingredient. So no, there is NO starch in the baby food.

[deleted account]

Its a possibility that starch is in it. If the fruit was boiled with starch in the water, and then drained before finished off, they can omit the starch when, yea starch is in it. Starch is on the list of ingredients they dont have to list..... Its a technicality, there could very well be starch in the food. Its right on the site i showed you..

Even some things they literally PUT milk products into, they dont have to label it. They can say, may contain traces of milk and its good enough. The labeling system is bull and needs to be changed.

Jenn - posted on 01/23/2011

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Yes, but you were saying initially that in the example of baby food apples that the starch doesn't have to be listed, when in fact, if there were starch in it it WOULD have to be listed, therefore in Canada - there is NO starch in it - as I said originally. The reason it wouldn't have to be listed as an ingredient of an ingredient is because it would be such a minuscule amount that it almost doesn't exist. I wonder now what other countries rules are for this type of thing. Off to do some googling. ;)

Jenn - posted on 01/23/2011

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That is ONLY if it is an ingredient of an ingredient - hence a "component declaration" - a component of an ingredient. So in the case of baby food and corn starch - yes - it DOES have to be labelled. The only time it does not have to be labelled is in the case of let's say a granola bar, and part of that granola bar is tiny marshmallows. The marshmallow ingredients are listed in parenthesis and if those marshmallows contained corn starch, then it wouldn't need to be listed - only because it's an ingredient of an ingredient. Does that make sense?

[deleted account]

Jenn, the information you posted said right in it that certian ingredients don't need to be listed.

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

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OK - I read those links Julianne and I still don't see where it says that starch would not have to be listed.

Jodi - posted on 01/22/2011

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Shannen, I am pretty sure it says Maize thickener on various things, rather than corn starch. I have seen it listed, it is required to be listed. They are also required to list all preservatives and additives that have an effect on the food by way of flavouring, preserving, colouring, etc.

[deleted account]

In Australia, like Jopdi said, All ingredients must be listed. It might not say cornstarch but they do say thickener.

[deleted account]

its over cooked is the main difference. i love my home made apple sauce :) all thats in it is 3 apples and a pear

Stifler's - posted on 01/22/2011

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apples from the heinz jar just doesn't taste the same as apples you steam and mash though. it's weird and i wonder why. especially the pumpkin and sweet potato one. logan would eat the pumpkin and sweet potato i mashed but he wouldn't eat it out of a jar so i tasted it and i'm just like.... that's not pumpkin and sweet potato. i'm not sure which bottle i saw corn starch on.

[deleted account]

Certain food preparations and mixtures, including flavours and seasonings, when used as ingredients, are exempt from a declaration of most of their components.



exception to the rule, doesn't need to be listed.

Any additive can be listed under natural flavor, if it is approved for use in canada, it can be listed under this, google what natural flavor ad an ingredient is..

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

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Sorry if this is long - it's from the CFIA website:

2.8.1 Ingredient Common Name

Ingredients and their components (ingredients of ingredients) must be declared by their common names in the list of ingredients on a food label. (See Mandatory Common Names of Ingredients and Components, Annex 2-1 of this Guide.)
Certain foods and classes of foods, when used as ingredients, may be listed by collective or class names. (Class Names for Ingredients, Annex 2-2 of this Guide.)
To assist consumers in making safe food choices, the CFIA encourages industry to identify the source in the common name of ingredients, such as hydrolysed plant proteins, starches, modified starches and lecithin (e.g., hydrolysed soy protein, wheat starch, modified wheat starch, soy lecithin).
When preparations of vitamins, mineral nutrients, food additives and flavour enhancers, are added to foods, these must be shown in the list of ingredients by the common name of the active ingredient(s) present, e.g., vitamin A palmitate. Yeast preparations may be declared as "yeast".
2.8.2 Component Declarations

Components (ingredients of ingredients) can be declared either:

In parentheses following the ingredient name in descending order of proportion by weight in the ingredient; or
In descending order of proportion by weight in the finished food as if they were ingredients, without listing the ingredient itself.
Many foods, when used as ingredients in other foods, are exempt from a declaration of their components. (See Ingredients Exempt from Component Declaration, Annex 2-3 of this Guide.)

Certain food preparations and mixtures, including flavours and seasonings, when used as ingredients, are exempt from a declaration of most of their components. (See Component Declarations, Annex 2-4(a) of this Guide) The components which, if present, must be declared as if they were ingredients include salt, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed plant protein, aspartame, potassium chloride and any components which perform a function in, or have an effect on the final food, e.g., flavour enhancers. (See Component Declarations, Annex 2-4 of this Guide, sections (b) and (c).)

This says to me that they do in fact have to be listed, and yes they are listed under their common name, but they are NOT allowed to "hide" an ingredient or just not list it. The only things that do NOT have to be listed are processing aids - "Processing aids are substances which are added to a food for a technological effect during processing and which are not present in the finished food product or are present at insignificant and non-functional levels. Note that food additives are not processing aids."
Processing Aids
Table 2-1

Substances Currently Exempt From Declaration in the List of Ingredients
Item Substances
1. Hydrogen for hydrogenation purposes, currently exempt under B.01.008
2. Cleansers and sanitisers
3. Head space flushing gases and packaging gases
4. Contact freezing and cooling agents
5. Washing and peeling agents
6. Clarifying or filtering agents used in the processing of fruit juice, oil, vinegar, beer, wine and cider (The latter three categories of standardized alcoholic beverages are currently exempt from ingredient listing.)
7. Catalysts that are essential to the manufacturing process and without which, the final food product would not exist, e.g., nickel, copper, etc.
8. Ion exchange resins, membranes and molecular sieves that are involved in physical separation and that are not incorporated into the food
9. Desiccating agents or oxygen scavengers that are not incorporated into the food
10. Water treatment chemicals for steam production

[deleted account]

all food ingredients need to be listed....but cornstarch is technically not a food, its a thickening agent. Other preserves that are technically not food, either don't make it to the label, or are grouped under natural flavor, or some other bogus name.

Jodi - posted on 01/22/2011

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In Australia, any preservative or additive has to be listed. And there aren't any listed on most brands of baby food.

[deleted account]

Its true, i'll find you some links when i have the time, all of the ingredients don't need to be listed. Corporations can hide food under other names too, corn syrup, msg, , protein hydrolysate, distillate, and other nasty additives can be listed under natural flavor.

Bonnie - posted on 01/22/2011

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I don't get why ingredients wouldn't need to be listed. Shouldn't they all be listed for allergy purposes?

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

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OK - I'm reading the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website - nowhere does it say anything about not having to list an ingredient. Perhaps this is some misinformation that you heard?

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

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Julianne - are you serious? I have never heard that before. I always thought that Canada was quite strict on their food regs compared to some other countries.

Chrissy - posted on 01/22/2011

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I used jarred food only when we were traveling. Other than that, I smashed up veggies that I made for the family to eat. Same with fruits.

Nikki - posted on 01/22/2011

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I have never seen corn starch on the apples? Baby food in Australia does not have any preservatives (the stage 1 foods) They are heat treated in the packaging to preserve the contents. I gave my daughter jarred fruit quite often but I couldn't handle the smell of the veggies and meat and it has alway just been easier to mash up whatever we were having for dinner.

[deleted account]

canada has loopholes, they dont need to list ALL of the ingredients.
Cornstarch is to thicken it.

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

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Interesting - in Canada Heinz does not add corn starch. I wonder why the difference?

Stifler's - posted on 01/22/2011

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On the back of the Heinz bottle it has apples, corn starch, water. Or something like that. I read it once and was like LOL what for.

Bexterwhite - posted on 01/22/2011

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Our babies eat whatever we eat !
I have tried processed baby food and it tastes like shit [except the chocolate pudding] i wouldn't eat it!

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

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I would just like to point out that the baby food I've seen did not have anything in it other than what it was - like sweet potatoes, apples, peas, corn, etc. I do agree that it's lost much of the nutrients through the cooking process - but that would also happen if you cooked it at home. I've never seen any preservatives in them or starch as someone said was in apples - not around here it isn't! They seriously sell baby food with preservatives in it?!? Where?

Jodi - posted on 01/22/2011

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That's how I felt Erin. I was cooking fresh for the rest of the family anyway, why not cook a bit extra and mash it up?

Ez - posted on 01/22/2011

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Just quickly, and without reading all the PPs, I always made my own baby food purely because the jarred stuff smells and tastes like shit! Jarred meat? No thanks.

I used some jarred fruit purees in the very early stages, but everything else was homemade. I could never justify cooking something fresh for myself and than giving Milla something from a jar. Yuck!

[deleted account]

All baby food bought at the store will have preservatives in it. Fresh is always better. So those of us that want to just make our own fresh baby food at home. It isn't hard and is actually cheaper than jarred.

Bonnie - posted on 01/20/2011

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I always/only used jar baby food. I never had a problem with it. It was the easiest thing for me.

Tracey - posted on 01/20/2011

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When I was pregnant I had a craving for my kids baby food - pureed banoffee pie, might not have been good for me but at 3am when all shops shut and hubby fast asleep it was easy to get a jar out of the fridge

Charlie - posted on 01/20/2011

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Oh Harry loves the sweet potato , pumpkin and cous cous in a pouch they are so handy when we are stepping out !

[deleted account]

Today was the first day my baby had brought baby food. It was in a puoch and all it had was Sweet potato, Carrot and Apples. It had nothing else in it at all. It was super Yummy. The only reason he got it was because we left home early and were out for most of the day so he missed his breakfast. He enjoyed it and i'd buy it again if i had to.

Jodi - posted on 01/19/2011

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I thought you were all into your organic foods Sherri, you didn't try to feed them fresh food you made yourself from fresh produce?

Sarah - posted on 01/19/2011

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Well, when you have a baby who refuses to eat "real" food, then pureed jarred food is the only way to get at least SOME nutrition/calories in him. Luckily my son is growing out of that & finally eating whatever food I make him. I don't think jarred food is all that bad. If ya gotta use it, ya gotta use it.

Jodi - posted on 01/19/2011

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"Im sure they wouldnt sell it if it was actually bad for your kid"

Hahaha, with that line of reasoning, McDonalds, KFC, and frozen dinners aren't really bad for us then?

Stifler's - posted on 01/19/2011

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I think it's like fast food for babies. The baby apples and all that has corn starch in it which wouldn't be there if you steamed your own and mashed it or whatever. Not saying it'd kill them or I haven't given it to my baby just it does have stuff that wouldn't be there if you made it yourself.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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lol you sound like my hubby I say jarred food is crap and should never be used except while out when you have to he says Im sure they wouldnt sell it if it was actually bad for your kid and Im sure its not crap.

What I have heard is that its not good for them well not as good as home made I gues, they get used to the taste of jarred stuff so then have trouble getting them on proper food and just a few other things that put me off. Ill always make my own

Stifler's - posted on 01/19/2011

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We did that too just mashed the same veg we ate. Now he just has it cut up smaller than us.

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Harry's fave pouch food ( comes in a squeezie pack ) is organic blueberry , banana and quinoa it actually tastes good , when I buy pre made food I buy organic or Rafferty's garden which are mainly organic too .

Stifler's - posted on 01/19/2011

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Most jar foods here are egg custard, strawberry rice cream dessert, chocolate custard, banana custard, summer fruits gel (my guess is that it's gelatin, corn starch and sugar). People seem to think these are perfectly acceptable as meals for their baby.



I'm too scungy to fork out for the jars of lamb and vegetables or whatever and just use the steamer and mash or chop up veggies for Logan. I do use them when we go on trips though, I'm not that against them!

Jodi - posted on 01/19/2011

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I occasionally used to use jarred food, only because if we went somewhere it was incredibly convenient when we were in a hurry. However, by the time she was 8 months, my daughter absolutely refused to eat jarred food, with the exception of pureed apples. It was the flavour. She much preferred the homemade stuff that I usually made, and ended up rebelling. It was actually a pain in the neck, because as I said, I always kept a couple of jars for emergencies if I had to go out at a moment's notice, but now that wasn't an option, LOL. My son, when he was a baby, didn't care. He still doesn't. At 13, that boy will still eat anything.

Really, though, the same with eating processed foods as adults, it is always still going to be better for you, have more vitamins and minerals, than anything you buy in a can or jar at the store. It doesn't mean it is BAD for them, just that it isn't the best for them.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/19/2011

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I took alot of pride in making my sons food...I feel guilty for not being able to make my daughters.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/19/2011

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I can truthfully say I really enjoyed making my son's baby food...I knew exactly what was in it, if it was distributed in the USA, and how pure it was. I wish that I had the time for my daughter, but I was unable to. I have this awesome book that is a complete "how to make babyfood" book, and it gives a month by month "solid finger food"guide. I am cooking sweet potatoes for my kids right now...I have had to use Jarred food on my daughter...thems the breaks. I don't think it is terrible...but I would have rathered making it. Now that she is almost completely off baby food...I am going back to my roots.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/19/2011

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I agree with Krista - they do seem to be overcooked and there is a LOT of water in them. I never made my kid's food that consistency. So I guess there's probably not much to them. They don't really need the nutrition at that age though, so I suppose it's fine for practice.

The main reason we didn't use jars (except on holiday road trips when it's either that or french fries) is that they taste freaking awful and had limited foods. I'd rather my kids learn how to eat the food that we actually eat around here. We didn't really do much of the puree thing in general.

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Don't get me wrong Cooper and Harry have had their lot of "Jarred foods" but I prefer home cooked purely because it tastes better .

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