In India, baby food products is a fast growing segment in the baby care category. All leading global manufacturers of baby food products recognise this huge opportunity and have set a foot in the door. One really cannot blame them considering the baby food demands of a billion strong nation which shows no signs of slowing down.
Even as brands compete to gain attention of consumers through aggressive advertising and use of organic ingredients and preservative free status, a large segment of our population prefers to continue using homemade baby food.
Here’s what they suspect about branded, factory-made baby food:
- Are products really preservative free if they are expected to stay fresh on store shelves for months at an end?
- Is there loss of precious vitamins, minerals and other nutrients when baby food is cooked at extremely high temperatures and sealed in pouches to eliminate bacterial contamination?
- Why does the ingredient list on the jar contain a few entries that sounds alien to you, the meaning of which you discover only when you check online?
- There are a few defined and acceptable baby food tastes chosen by the manufacturer and very often, you cannot find local flavours or ingredients you ate as a baby. So how would your baby transition when he/she has to move to eating regular Indian cuisine?
- What would you do if you were to travel to smaller cities in India where the brand of baby food you use is not available and your baby refuses to have anything else?
- Doesn’t a preference for imported brands of baby food also burn a hole in your pocket over a period of time?
- What adds to the uncertainty is the clash of ideas belonging to different generations. Your mom and grandma would prefer to have you use homemade baby food than store bought food.
You now take a pause to wonder if there is a solution that could address all of the above.. Yes, there is. Homemade baby food has been around for ages and will be around for many more. Meeting the approval standards set by grandmas at home, they use ingredients that can be sourced fresh from the local market to make time – tested recipes that are guaranteed to aid weight gain, provide required nutrition and keep the baby healthy.
Importance of proper nutrition
Proper nutrition is critical for a baby’s physical and mental development. While there are many factors like birth weight, genetics and term completion that determines weight gain pattern in babies, dietary intake of mom and baby remains a significant contributor. It is noteworthy that dietary intake is a factor that is within the control of the mother unlike a lot of other factors that affect weight gain. Healthy babies also develop better immunity that help ward off ailments which might lead to weight loss.
Having made the decision to make baby food at home, every new mom is confronted with the question of what and how to make them. It is encouraging to note the number of blogs, videos and apps dedicated to making baby food at home. The easy recipes they provide is guaranteed to turn the most hesitant of moms to nutritionist moms!
Homemade baby food may be considered essential in the first year and desirable from thereon. With the heavy bombardment of advertisements that entice our children to try out new flavours of processed food, we may not be able to influence their dietary preferences for too long. Therefore, while we have the powers, we should exercise them. Let’s also remember that investing time and effort in raising our children right can ensure a happy and healthy future for them.
You may also like to read: When and how to feed your baby