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Baby Food Makeover

August 15th, 2016 | By: Nancy Ripton
Find out why baby puree sales are declining and what more parents are feeding their children.
Baby Food Makeover

In the past decade baby food has under gone a health makeover. It’s not that parents haven’t always been concerned with what was going into their baby’s mouths, it’s just that the research wasn’t always steering them in the right direction.

Fresh Foods Are Best

It’s become obvious in recent years that fresh foods are best – not just for baby but for the entire family. Because of this, increasing numbers of moms are making their own purees at home. In fact, the sales of commercially prepared baby food have been steadily falling in North America since 2005 at a rate of about four percent per year (in spite of a baby boom). In Europe the numbers are equally dramatic. While the growth of diaper, baby formula and baby toiletry markets all continue to rise, the baby food industry has taken a dramatic plunge. In 2012 European baby food sales were down 3.5 percent, or $29.9 million, from the previous year according to the IRI worldwide report. In the same time period the sales of baby diapers were up $43.8 million and baby wipes were up 19 million.

More Pureed Baby Food Options

In an attempt to help parents feel good about what their baby is eating organic jarred baby foods now line the shelves, and niche companies create interesting combinations of frozen baby foods that need to be thawed and heated prior to serving. While this extra step isn’t always convenient, it does reduce the need for any preservatives, and keeps store-bought baby food as natural as possible.

Companies such as Sprout Organic Foods are serving up organic baby foods in resealable aluminum packages specially designed to allow optimal freshness and convenience.

However, even with these smaller companies hitting the market, about a third of moms are now pureeing their own baby food. While not as time consuming as it was when baby purees were first introduced – parents no longer need to boil carrots for four hours and then blend them to a pulp – making purees does take a lot of time.

The average mom is busier today than she was in the fifties and sixties and often has less cooking skills. Still many moms spend precious time that could be spent working, playing with their baby, getting caught up on errands or – heaven forbid – having a little “me time” pureeing their baby’s own food.

Introduce Solid Foods Earlier with Baby Self-Feeding

The happy solution may be to limit puree use and move to solid foods more quickly. Co-founder Nancy Ripton's new book Baby Self-Feeding: Solid Food Solutions to Create Lifelong, Healthy Eating Habits, shows the safe way to transition to solid foods as early as six or seven months of age.

Learn to keep your baby safe by knowing the difference between choking and gagging, and learn how to decide which foods are safe to feed at which age.