There are a lot of different factors in deciding what and when to start feeding your baby, and deciding whether or not to make your own food is a big one. Since I tend to have unhealthy obsessions with making decsions like this, I have probably done more research then needed. After all the late hours on my computer looking at all the organic baby food companies I felt positive that I made the right one by making my own food for my little girl. Until there is another option of baby food on the market that is wholesome, delicious and unprocessed [investors are welcome to call me to discuss] - these are the main reasons why I stay very far away from the 'stuff' sold at the store.
Taste, Texture and Color - After trying a variety of different baby food products I found that most of them are either extremely bland or have an overwhelming sweetness (even in food that is not necessarily sweet), are super smooth and discolored compared to it's original produce. The taste besides anything else, made me start making my own baby food and which still makes me believe that this is the reason there is such a beige food problem in kids from 3 years up. If the food we eat from day one is boring then what are you going to crave when you get older?
Shelf Life - Most baby food bought at a grocery store has a shelf life of 2-3 years. When doing simple math, the food you are about to feed your baby is older then the precious baby sitting in your high chair.
Lack of Nutritional Value - In order to keep the product on the shelves for such a long period of time, the manufacture has to heat the food to such a high temperature that it kills off all of the beneficial nutrients in the produce. The FDA puts a majority of baby food on the 'not creditable infant food' list. If that doesn't scare you, a majority of the baby food in grocery stores has less nutritional value then a Big Mac.
Here are some great reasons why making your own baby food is best:
Cost - Making your own baby food will save you money. I have calculated a savings of 50-75% off of the pouches or jars. This is using organic produces and only what is in season. I do not calculate my time because I enjoy the process and have become very efficient
Knowing exactly what is in your baby food - Since you made the food by scratch, then you know exactly what is in the food. There are no fillers, no weird ingredients with names that you cannot pronounce and no extra water that you don't need. If you want to add some additional spices and herbs, go ahead. Want to make some interesting food combinations, go ahead. You want to have a chunkier puree with some added super grains, go ahead. You can make whatever you want, go ahead.
Freshness and Carbon Footprint - Some baby food companies buy the cheapest produce [including organic] from South America or China and then ship it by boat to Asia to have it produced in a factory over there to save on labor coats. Then it gets shipped to the US and then shipped to your local grocery store. HELLO carbon footprint! When you make your own baby food you can decide what and where your food is coming from. In the summer, hit up your local farmers market or ask in your local market where the produce is from [most natural food stores have the origin of it produce on the price sign or price sticker]. If the produce does come from overseas, don't freak out over it, sometimes that is the best produce you can get. You are still saving a ton of miles from not having it produced on the other side of the world.