My LO is nearing the age of introducing solids and I am trying to determine what brand to go with. Gerber is the only brand that I could just grab at the grocery store. Any other brand I would have to buy online. I have already thought about making my own and ruled out that as an option as a means for all the food. Work/travel/distance from grocery stores already takes up too much of my precious time to spend with him. I have read gerbers ingredients and phoned them to determine that they do not use GMO's for any baby food or hormones/steroids in any meats. They also have an organic line but it's more limited and I'm not sold on the need for organic. Maybe I just do not know enough. Also, I noticed that there aren't as many single food options with the organic brands, but then they have a lot of food blends. I thought you shouldn't use a food blend (spinach/avocado/pear, etc.) until your child has had each food individually? With some brands there is a blend of three with only one of them being available on their own. Isn't that a potential issue when it comes to watching for allergies?
What do you all use? Any recommendations? Experiences with gerber? I'm not against ordering something else online if it's better for him. I just have zero experience with baby food.
I posted this in another forum but it doesn't get as much traffic so I'm posting again here. Thanks in advance!!!
If you have your heart set in using a store brought prepared food I would use whatever you can easily buy wherever you normally shop. Life with a baby who is starting solids is hard enough (there is so much feeding and so much cleaning up!) that I wouldn't overthink it or be ordering anything special online. If that's gerber then I'd go with that.
That said the easiest thing really is to make it yourself. Unless you or your partner have any specific allergies you don't need to offer only one food at a time or in anyway limit what you offer (other than added salt, sugar, whole nuts or honey). You also don't need to purée or mash it either. We did baby led weaning and mine had exactly what we ate not puréed or mashed from day 1. Her first meal was roasted carrots and parsnips spears, mashed potatoes, cabbage and a Yorkshire pudding. But it's easy to do it yourself and way cheaper and then you know what's in it. You literally just purée whatever you eat or serve it whole (just without dumping a ton of salt on it first). We just took out a portion first and seasoned the rest to our liking.
Or you can do a mix. When you and your family are eating a well balanced home cooked meal, baby can have a portion of that (pureed or left whole - if baby has reached 6months and shows readiness signs) and when you are in a rush and eating convenience foods that might not be appropriate then baby can eat store bought food.
BLW was easier for me because it allowed me to cook and eat for myself and just put in extra amounts for LO rather than making or buying anything separate or special, but there is no rule to say you cant mix and match if your lifestyle needs a different type of convenience.
Gerber is pretty much one of the worst brands out there. It's common, but that doesn't make it a quality product. Also, the idea of testing out one food for a few days is to rule out allergies. My fourth-born has a brown rice allergy, and he ate brown rice for 3 WEEKS before he broke out in hives with them. If I had tested one new food at a time (and according to our pediatrician at the time, you can add in the new food with experienced foods, not just serve ONLY the new food), then I would have thought whatever the new food was, was the cause of the allergy. It wasn't. I gave him everything he had in that meal, separately, to figure out what the cause was. The brown rice was the last thing I tested, and he broke out into hives and got very sick again. So we keep brown rice out of the house now. Not a big deal.
At that point, my baby was only taking purees. We used baby led weaning for all of our kids (except for my oldest at first), but my fourth born was a big, older baby who still didn't have an interest in food, so we tried the (homemade) purees. He had purees for a few days before he started eating real food. That being said, making your own baby food is not really a process. I did it during my baby's nap time. I bought a bunch of organic groceries the day before I was going to make them, and when my baby went down for a nap, I steamed all of the produce (I used my Instant Pot, which is an electric pressure cooker), separately, and I stuck them in the fridge. Over the course of the next day, I froze each of the items in ice cube trays (I have several since I'd made baby food in the past), in 2-Tablespoon portions per cube, and I bagged them up in Ziplocs and stuck them in the freezer. If I was going out for the day, I could take one with me and put it in a lunch bag with an ice pack, and it would be just thawed enough to eat by lunch time. And I never had to put any more work into baby food again. I also did this with my first-born because he had to wean onto solids very early due to severe reflux and weight loss.
But anyway, besides that, we use Baby Led Weaning, and we feed our babies what we're eating - good, healthy, quality food - cubed fruits, with veggies steamed or roasted until soft and meats kept tender or shredded - lots of ground meats in the early days because they're easy to gum down. I do travel a few times per year, and always with a baby, so I always bring organic Stonyfield baby/toddler yogurt (kept in a cooler), some organic applesauce, bananas, oat cereal like Cheerios but organic (called Whole O's), and whatever else my baby preferred.
I don't feed my older kids much processed foods, either, so I bake a loaf of bread and bring some Sun butter and tons of fruit and some carrot and celery sticks, etc. when we travel anyway. I also have a Thermos that I can put hot foods in, along with hot water. I went to a family reunion with my own Thermos full of nitrate-free hot dogs because my second-born has celiac and so I have to be very careful about what he eats. haha. I looked like a nut, but my kids have to be safe. I'm just making a point here that it's not that hard to travel with food.
It probably won't matter that much how you do it. Do more research if you want. Buy the Gerber if you want. You're the parent, and it's your choice, but you are clearly concerned. I do like Happy Tot brand and Plum Organics. Here's a link to the "best" brands this year. https://www.maternityglow.com/best-o...y-food-brands/
I also agree that buying pre-packaged baby food is a waste of money. Just feed your LO whatever you guys are eating. We never did purees or prepackaged foods. If you really want to feed purees then just throw whatever you are eating into a blender and then give it to baby. Or feed foods that are naturally soft like oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, avocado, etc. We have some pasta and chili and other things that my DD loves in containers in the freezer that we can pull out and give to her if we are eating something really inappropriate for a baby (like nachos when we are watching hockey!) or if it is close to bedtime and we need to feed her something quick and we are going to eat later. Also there's no reason to introduce one food/flavour at a time, my LO was eating indian lentil curry and chili and lots of other combo foods with lots of flavour from the beginning.
You're really overthinking this. With my first I fully blw. He had everything we ate. My 2nd I just bought whatever jars were on offer and made it myself when I could + finger foods. I never stuck to a specific brand, it's not like baby milk, you can mix and match
Any opinions, advice, statements or other information expressed or made available on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com by users or third parties, including but not limited to bloggers, are solely those of the respective user or other third party. They do not reflect the opinions of BabyandBump.Momtastic.com and they have not been reviewed by a physician, psychologist or parenting expert or any member of the BabyandBump.Momtastic.com staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com are not a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com. BabyandBump.Momtastic.com does not endorse any opinion, advice, statement, product, service or treatment made available on the website. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.