When it comes to prepping for weaning and feeding your baby or toddler, it's tempting to believe that all veg is created equal. After all, baby aisles are rammed with brightly-coloured packages featuring a wide range of veg and flavours that tempt kids and parents alike. Anyway, as long as your baby is eating some kind of vegetable - that's a win, right? We expose what's really in those packages.
The Truth About Puree Pouches
We've been there, too. The convenience, the ease. They're great. Except for when they start to replace real food entirely, as surveys have shown is happening more and more in homes around the country.
1. They're Overly Smooth
The heat-treating process required to preserve those vegetables and keep them long-life and shelf-stable results in purees that are super duper smooth - much smoother than what you can achieve with a blender at home.
Babies and toddlers need to learn about different textures in foods and what nutritious foods look like. They also need to learn how to chew - after all, chewing is what scientists say sends signs of fullness and satiation to the brain (so your baby doesn't, you know, completely over eat!).
2. They're Sweet. Like, Too Sweet
Even puree pouches that are labelled as vegetable-only 'first tastes' are misleadingly sweet, thanks to the heat-processing required (ever noticed that a sweet potato pouch doesn't exactly taste like a sweet potato?). Plus, most pouches conveniently hide vegetables behind fruit - it's great to feed your baby kale, but if it's hidden behind apple, they aren't learning much about the taste and may eventually reject it in its real form!
Teach Your Baby to Eat Anything
Feeding your baby fresh baby food - that is, food made from ingredients your baby can distinguish, touch, and taste clearly, which engages all senses, is the best way to help your baby learn to love vegetables and fruits.
Think of weaning as an educational process - your job is to expose your baby to the sights, tastes, and smells of real vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices (and don't forget - it can take up to 20 tastes before they learn to like something!).
The best part? Studies show that early exposure to real food and vegetables increases the chances that your baby will develop a broad palette.
At Mamamade, we know that offering real, fresh food usually means more work for parents, which is why we've done the hard part for you!