When your baby is born, the first foods that they will eat will either be breast milk or formula, but as they get older, their nutritional needs will change and you will need to start giving them different foods to fill those needs. But how do you know what the best baby foods are for your child?. With our list of the 10 Best Baby Foods in 2018. we wanted to build a list of we thought were the ones you should buy.
If you decide that you want to get one, we want to be sure to give you a hand by offering some advice on what to look for on the market today.
Hopefully, with our recommendations, we can make the process a bit easier for you so you can keep getting ready for your little one to come home.
Ready? Let’s get started.
How To Choose A Baby Food – Buying Guide
Choosing the best baby food for you to feed to your child can be harder that it may seem. When it came time for us to create a list of the 10 Best Baby Food in 2018, we wanted to ensure that when we started our baby food reviews, that the criteria we used to pick our list was as comprehensive as possible so that you could know that we only recommended the very best. Our criteria included
Keep an eye out for Iron
Your little one needs iron to help the development of their body as well as their brain, so you want to make sure that you are choosing iron-rich sources to feed to them every day. These can typically come from meats or iron-fortified cereals.
- Meat: Be sure to look for single meats such as chicken, turkey or beef without any additional ingredients. Added water is ok though.
- Cereal: Look for plain, single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal. You will want to skip flavored cereals as they are filled with sugar and other ingredients your baby’s body doesn’t need. Instead, mix a little bit or fruits or veggies with the cereal to add some flavor.
Find veggies that are actually veggies
If the veggie baby food you are picking has anything other than the vegetable and water, you should put it back or return it. Your baby’s little body doesnt need any added sugar or preservatives. You may also want to skip the combinations of fruit and veggies. These only teach your child that veggies will only taste good once they have been sweetened.
Giving your child pure veggies while they are young will enforce that veggies can be enjoyable from the start.
Put the juice back on the shelf
When you go shopping, those small bottles of juice look enticing enough to give your little one to drink, but don’t. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that until after their first birthday, babies should not have juice. Even then they don’t really need it. According to the AAP, if your baby drinks juice it could lead to the following:
- Poor Nutrition
- Increased risk of tooth decay
- Increased risk of diarrhea, gas and bloating
- Increased risk of exposure to bacteria in unpasteurized juices
Learn your baby’s food label
While you should be already checking the food labels for the things that you already eat, you should definitely do so for your child. Reading the label can help you keep your baby from eating the following things that might be in their food:
- Extra Sugar: Normally listed as either sugar, cane sugar, fruit juice or syrups on the baby food label. Any labeling of this manner is not something you want to give your child and is not good for their growing body
- Salt: A learned taste, giving your baby salt as part of their diet now will mean that they will want more later on, which is not a healthy addition to their diet. With their kidneys still developing, they can’t handle too much salt at this point in their lives.
- Thickening agents such as flours and starches: These can be really tough on a young tummy, but they also replace the healthy food that you’re trying to buy and feed your little one to help them grow stronger.
Don’t let the marketing fool you
When you go to the store, the way the labels look and even the space the food takes up on the shelf is decided by marketers. Don’t let all of that fancy artwork and wording fook you. Like many other foods at the store, you may see the words ‘organic’ or ‘all natural’ while others with try to boast some trendy health foods such as kale or even pomegranate. The claims that they are trying to make don’t necessarily mean that they are the best choices for your child’s diet. In fact, the pouches that seem to be all the rage these days are in truth, nothing more than regular baby food with some added ingredients.
Look for glass
A more convenient option for your baby’s food, as well as being less expensive than pouches of food in a lot of cases. Being able to pop the top, warm it in the microwave and feed your little one, either the whole thing or save the rest for later. Be sure though to toss any food that your little one doesn’t eat if you fed them right from the jar because any bacteria from their mouth can spoil the food.
Another major reason why using pouches to feed your child is less desirable than using a glass jar is because slurping food from plastic pouch does not teach your little one the importance of eating. Plus, you can’t tell what the condition of the food they are eating is in, it could be moldy inside that pouch and then squeezed right into their mouth. A good tip is to squeeze the pouch into a bowl before feeding your child.
Benefits of Baby Food
When it comes to buying baby food, many parents will only see the benefit that these are made to feed your little one when they are hungry. However, good baby food can have more benefits than simply putting food in your baby’s tummy. These benefits include
For the beginning part of their young lives, your little one can live off of either breast milk or formula to get the nutrition that they need. However, as they grow up and get bigger, their nutritional needs are going to change and there may be some things that they might not be ready for. This is where baby food can be a big benefit for your little one. With their simple meals, your child can get the nutrition that they need to start or even continue to grow big and strong from every meal.
Unlike when you go to the grocery store to buy yourself food, your baby’s food is much more inexpensive in comparison. With its small portion sizes and compact packaging, many parents will stock up so that they can have food on hand for whenever their child is hungry and also have multiple options to help calm their child’s cravings.
Many parents these days both work full time jobs during the day, and when they come home, there may not be enough time to cook a completely nutritious meal for their child, depending on what else is going on around the house. Baby food can make feeding your child as easy as possible. Simply open the container and you child has a nutritious food just waiting to be eaten.
Baby food tends to come in either small jars or plastic containers which can make them a very convenient way to carry around your child’s food. Whether or not you are feeding your little one at home, you can easily take their food with you by tossing a jar or container into their diaper bag on the way to the grandparents or your purse if you and your little one are going out for the day.
Different Stages of Baby Food
When your little one starts to eat solid food and you find yourself in the baby food aisle, you may see some things that you may not understand. Specifically, we’re referring to the different stages of the foods that you can purchase for your child. With that in mind, we wanted to give you a primer of sorts to help decode what each stage meant.
When your child first starts out eating solid food, that means that they will be at Stage 1. At this stage, your child may be between the ages of four to six months of age and you might want to start introducing single ingredient foods such as rice cereal or pureed fruits or vegetables to help them get comfortable to the taste and texture.
Once your baby is seven to eight months old, they can eat Stage 2 foods, which can include a single ingredient as well as combination foods that are strained instead of being pureed. Examples can include fruits and vegetables
Once they have made it to Stage 3, that would mean that your child is now between nine and twelve months of age. At this stage, they can start eating foods that may have more texture and small chunks to them to make them easier to eat.
The jars for Stage three can be much easier to spot on store shelves because they are usually bigger than the ones for Stage one or two. This is because by the time your child has reached Stage three, they are likely to have a bigger appetite.
By the time your baby has reached Stage four, they have already had their first birthday and have progressed to eating table food. At this point, you may also be feeding your child the food that the rest of the family is eating or even buy toddler foods for them.
My Babies Planet Overview
Finding the best baby food for your child isn’t going to be as easy as simply buying the first kind you see when you go to the store. You may have many other things to consider first. With our list of the 10 Best Baby Food in 2018, we wanted to give you all the information we felt you may need when it came to what to look for and the benefits of giving your little one baby food for their nutritional needs.
Our hope is that you may pick one of our recommendations that we put onto our list, but we understand that ultimately, the one you choose will come down to personal preference.
Do you have a Baby Food on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.
My Babies Planet Baby Food Review