gerber vs making your own

Nicki - posted on 02/22/2009 ( 26 moms have responded )

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my son will be 6 months on the 27th and we are gonna start solids for the first time. yippy!!! i am trying to decide if i want to make my own baby food or do i want to buy store bought. what are the pros and cons of each? what has your child liked better? any tips of how to start solids. and how much and how many times a day. thank you so much for for all your advice :)

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Heather - posted on 03/10/2009

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I would definately make your own. When the "manufacturers" make the baby food they have to process it at very high temperatures to get it to have a shelf life. When they do this it takes most of the nutrutional value out of the food. Not to mention that it takes all of the flavor out of it as well (it tastes terrible.) Then they add things like additives and preservatives. Store bought baby food is nothing more than garbage. Get the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. It is wonderful. You can make cereal by blending whole grain brown rice and storing it a jar in the fridge. Every 3 days you make a batch and you have enough for the next 3 days. As for the other food. Buy fresh, organic if possible, and steam them. After that, just put it in a blender or food processor until it's the consistency you need (depending on the babies age) and then put it into ice cube trays. After they are frozen, pop them out into a large freezer bag with the veggie's name on it and put it back in the freezer. When you need them they are there. It doesn't take as much time as people think. The book tells you which foods you can introduce at what age (to avoid allergies and choking hazzards), and gives you the cooking time for all the foods you can imagine. I did this with both my boys (now ages 2 and 4.5) and everyone is amazed at how well they eat their veggies. They eat much more nutriciously than other kids their ages. They would eat all kinds of combinations that would not be appealing to me (plain yogurt with tahini, carrots, and flaxseed oil), but now they are more willing to try new and different kinds of foods. Your kids will be more healthy and less likely to have poor eating habits later on. Oh, don't add seasonings to any of the foods you make. We are so use to having salt and pepper on everything in order to be able to eat it. Your babies taste buds are not corupted yet. They don't need the extra salt in their diet. Let them enjoy the natural flavor of the foods, they will love them. As they get older you can start adding things like cinnamon and other things, but stay away from the salt. Happy pureeing.

Melissa - posted on 03/10/2009

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I always read start on the jar food first because it has been triple tested for safety.. then once they are eating well and a bit older ( at least 6 months) start making your own.

Silla - posted on 03/10/2009

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A friend of mine makes her own baby food and shares with me. She makes it with organic fruits and veggies. I have bought Gerber organic and I found that the home made baby food tastes SO much better. The home made baby food is also in cubes so I started off with one cube a day... then two at the same time (2 ounces) for dinner. So he would eat a veggie then a fruit for desert.  Also, make sure you wait at least three days after trying a new food to try another new one... to make sure there are no allergies!



It may also seem like they don't like the food too.... just keep trying. The new texture and tatses are weird for them! After a couple bites, they will keep wanting more!

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2009

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I actually use both based on what my doctor suggested. She mentioned I may want to get our daughter used to store bought baby food since we are always on the move (it is nice to just be able to throw a jar in the diaper bag when we want to go out to lunch). She tends to like what I make a little better, but I've never had a problem switching back and forth. Good luck!!

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Tabitha - posted on 03/10/2009

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We do a little of both.  With our first she ate mostly store bought.  With our son I make most of his.  I still buy store bought to have on hand for when we got out places b/c it's just easier on me.  And I buy some so that he has stuff that we don't normally eat but I can tell he likes the stuff I make much better.

[deleted account]

I make my own and I think it is so much better. It's really easy to do, and I know exactly what's going into it. I can spend a few hours on a Sunday making different batches, then freeze them in ice cube trays, pop into ziplocs and I've got months worth of food. Some things I can blend on the spot or make a few days worth. I just use my Magic Bullet and it works great. I got myself a few books on baby food so I knew what I was doing, but now I don't even need them, it's so easy! It's way less expensive too, for at least 3 months worth of food I spent maybe $30 on produce. Then, when they get older they can just eat whatever you're having, just pop it in the blender. It's great!

Good luck!

Sandy - posted on 03/03/2009

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if you taste store bought baby food VS homemade it's really shocking. even the color is totally different. store bought looks off. i'm not saying i never used gerber if we were out, but i avoided it. just imagine which you'd like to eat.
when i started i did rice cereal mixed with bananas in the morning, a vegetable for lunch, and a meat and veggie for dinner, with milk in between. as they get older you'll phase out the milk and just do your 3 meals with snacks. good luck!!!

Ashley - posted on 03/03/2009

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I make my own, and I love doing it! It really makes me feel good knowing that I know what she's eating. And, if you make it in large quantities, you only have to do it every two weeks or so...and then freeze in ice cube trays and put in baggies. I just compare it to this: When I cook for myself and my husband, we like eating fresh or frozen veggies better than canned. They taste WAY better...so that's what we try to do for our little one. I too have the "100 Baby Purees" book by Anabel Karmel...and I LOVE IT!!!

Richelle - posted on 03/03/2009

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For those of you who make dinner and then use it to make your baby food....i've heard you aren't supposed to season their meat and veggies, so how are you going about this? Or isn't it a worry? I have a pear tree in my yard so I am going to make baby food out of that this summer. :) I wanted to can them last summer and then just mash them up, but apparently u can't do this for fear of botulism. You can buy store bought and then do it, but I guess home canning conditions aren't as safe as factories. My mom made a lot of my baby food and my dad was all for pushing 'real' food early on and I am not picky at all. I hate to see kids who only eat fast food and the like. Hopefully this is why. Watch, I'll end up with a only chicken nugget eating kiddo. :P

[deleted account]

Making your own baby food is WAY cheaper and honestly, my daughter seemed to like the taste better.  Plus, there's always the benefit that you know exactly what is in your baby's food... especially if it's organic.  My daughters faves were sweet potatoes, zucchini, and apples.

Nicki - posted on 03/02/2009

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thank you all for your advice. it has sure helped alot. i think i am gonna make my own baby food. the website www.wholesomebabyfood.com is a great help too

Ranetta - posted on 03/02/2009

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If I could do it over I would make my own! Gerber is very high in things babies (and adults) dont need like flouride... Gerber is the highest. Beechnut is much better if you are going to use the ready made...

[deleted account]

this is my second post in here.. its so easy to make your own food.. just a couple f hoirs one morning and a blender.. some ice cube trays and you have enough food for 4-6 weeks.... sooo easy .. i use the annabel karmel trays tho not ice cube trays.. i was out today and i forgot to take food .. so i had no other choice than yo buy a jar.. i was gross... it tastes nothing like what it says it is on the jar.. so much rubbish is added to it.. even to the organic food... how else would they have such a long shelf life... home made food is the way to go

Mary - posted on 02/25/2009

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I buy Heinze organic baby food...and make my own as well....cause sometimes for lunch Jamie and I will have something like burger and fries and I don't want Jayden to have this at 7 months old so I will use the jar food....but If I make a stew or something like that I will pop some in the blender and do the ice cube tray thing too.  sometimes its just easier for me to use the babyfood.....but I try to make my own more often than not.

Cindy - posted on 02/25/2009

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I use both. Jesse has been on solids for a month now. He likes the homemade as good as the boughten. I want him to like and eat the foods we like, but also stuff we don't eat regularily. I started him off on the rice cereal a tsp once a day for a week and he loved it. After that I gave him some oatmeal and increased his cereal to a TBSP once a day. Two weeks later he was on to vegies 1 TBSP at lunch and his cereal for bkfst. He doesn't like the meats (made or bought) b/c of the texture. That will come eventually. I wish you good luck. C

Stephanie - posted on 02/23/2009

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PS: don't trust Gerber or any other manufacturer to have your best interest at heart, they do what they know best which is being great at marketing, making your believe that they know better than you!

Stephanie - posted on 02/23/2009

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I would strongly advise to make your own food, first you know what goes in it, it's not processed, and it introduces children to different textures. I can guarantee you that you won't have a fussy toddler if you do it. As someone says though, keep a couple of jars in your pantry for those days when you don't have anything in your fridge or freezer to cook with. My child is over two and eats what we eat, veg, fish, shrimps, meat etc... I don't cook separately for her, I think it's a very important skill to learn.

Samantha - posted on 02/23/2009

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i make my baby food homemade i got a kit from online at babyrus form Fresh baby. It lists what food the baby can have and when..it tells you how to prepare, serve, and store it. All my kids have eaten so much better since I have made theirs. My older two also like a variety of foods and are not picky because of it. Plus its a great money saver...I get like one bag of frozen peas and it makes like about 2 months worth of food!  They say organic, frozen, then canned is the best way...i use organic and frozen.  

[deleted account]

i fed my first jars.. feed my second my own pureed food.. i so regret feeding jars to my first.. he is now such a picky eater and i realidse that those jars are no good.. they have always got hidden addatives in them that just dont need to be there.. i feed my second child veg and fruit .. pottato at the minute.. will move onto adding meat fish ceheese ect.. soon..

Allie - posted on 02/23/2009

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i do both, we(my husband and I) are not very good at eating veg so i buy combinations for her and make potato and fruit. i like the idea that she would eat anything i give her, so have offered some different things. she is only 6months.

Ashley - posted on 02/22/2009

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wow I see all the moms in here made their own and I feel bad :). I wasn't against the store bought but I did always go for organic when I could. My son thankfully didn't like the puree and very quickly went on to our food. He would eat meat off the bone! lol. For my next I might try making my own but I was too exhausted to do it for my son.

Jodi - posted on 02/22/2009

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When I started my little girl on solids we started with store bought rice cereal. After she tried the variety of cereals available I started her on homemade (organic) carrots. According to my cookbook, "100 Baby Purees" by Anabell Karmel any root veggie should be organic. Avocados are a great first food too.

My pediatrician told me to serve rice 2 times a day. There are specific direction how how to do the first few servings of rice on the box.

Im a big fan of making my own baby food. At first it is really easy: steam and puree. Now I claim I make gourmet baby food. :o) I follow the book I mentioned earlier. The major benefit I see in making my own food is the wide variety of food available. The selection of store bought food is pretty slim in comparison. (You won't see Gerber marketing tomato, basil, carrot & cauliflower puree!) Research shows the more variety a baby has the less likely they will be to become a picky eater.

However, the option for store bought is always available for back up. We went on vacation out of the country and she ate store bought food for those days with no problems.

Hope it helps... sorry it was long... I get really excited talking about making baby food. :o)

Tanya Bauer - posted on 02/22/2009

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gerber adds things to their baby food that they don't need. Beechnut is just the same as if you made it, the food and the water needed to process and that's it. I didn't feed my first gerber and I won't feed my 2d gerber either. Beechnut is the easy way to go. I was going to make my own food, but it wasn't wrth the trouble.

Becky - posted on 02/22/2009

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Its all up to you but I will say this: I started making baby food after my daughter had been eating it for a couple of months and the pro for me is that she is not picky now at all. She eats what I cook/give her and doesn't throw a fit. It will just help your little one get used to food. My kiddo always goes straight for her veggies first!

Jolene - posted on 02/22/2009

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Weather you make your own or buy, do organic. I like to make my own baby food better, that way I know the quaility of the food, the manner it's made in ect. I do however like to keep a couple extra jars in the pantry for those times when you have no time! When I started solids my daugher would eat a full jar right away. I still gave her a 6oz morning bottle, then for lunch she would have baby food and a 4oz bottle, evening was more baby food and water. Then her 8oz bedtime bottle. It didn't take very long before she was eating mainly food and water. Shes 11 months now the only milk she gets is 4oz for her afternoon nap and 8oz for bed.

Angie - posted on 02/22/2009

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I made all of my childrens' babyfood. I bought frozen organic veggies and put them into a blender then put the mush into ice cube trays. I kept them in freezer bags and they lasted a long time - especially at first. When we were out and about, I'd order a veggie side dish and put it into a food mill that I bought especially for this. It worked great and I'm sure with 3 kiddos, I saved hundreds of dollars.

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