Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

Is home-cooked organic food better than use organic jars and packets?

When I first started weaning my daughter at 4 months, I cooked and pureed all of her organic fruit and vegetables myself. However, as she is now over 6 months old, my husband wants to feed her solely on jars/packets of organic baby food (whereas I would prefer to make the meals suggested in Gina’s book of weaning). My husband thinks that the organic jars are exactly the same as what you would make yourself with the advantage of being quicker to prepare. He does concede that the amount of meat and vegetables may be less than what you would include yourself. I did make him read the case study of Emily in the weaning book (but alas, to no avail!). Is there any evidence that feeding your baby home-cooked food is better for her than even the organic jars /packets of baby food?

Now that there is such an array of organic food available on the market it can be tempting to think that using this exclusively will be an easier option than cooking fresh food. As with most things there are pros and cons to be considered on both sides. In your case why not settle for a compromise and have some ready made food in to use on the days when your time is limited, you want to be out or are travelling. When you do have time and are at home, then use home-made food so your daughter becomes used to both kinds. A lot of home-cooked food can be cooked in larger quantities and frozen into baby sized portions, which will also enable you to prepare your daughter’s meals quite quickly once they are defrosted. You may be able to spend one or two mornings a month filling up your freezer with home cooked food. Making menu plans for the next couple of weeks can help you plan and cook ahead for the days when time maybe limited but your daughter will still have home-cooked food to enjoy.
Compare both sides and perhaps get your husband to see the issues a little more clearly.

Ready made food
Home-made food
  • Its composition is strictly controlled by EU legislation
  • Less expensive and food can be bought “in season”
  • Convenient and saves time
  • Complete control over all the ingredients
  • Easy to use when out or away
  • It will be easier for your baby to move onto family meals because they will be used to the tastes
  • Large range to choose from
  • You can alter the taste and texture to your own baby’s needs
  • You are unable to change the taste and texture. You have no control over the composition or the ingredients
  • Time consuming to prepare
  • Expensive
  • May not always look so attractive
  • You cannot make use of seasonal ingredients
  • Shopping and cooking skills are needed
  • Your baby may not want to eat family food once used to the texture and tastes of commercially prepared.