Homemade vs. Store-Bought Baby Food

Homemade vs. Store-Bought Baby Food
September 16, 2019 jflojennings
In Babies, Mom Tips, Mommy Blog

By Heddi Nieuwsma

My 7-month old is eating solid foods now, and I’ve mostly been feeding him homemade baby food. With my first son however, we primarily served store-bought food. About the time we introduced solids, I was heading back to work and didn’t feel like I had the time or energy to make it myself. As he got older we used a food mill to convert our regular meals to a finer texture, but for those early months we used store-bought food.

This second time around, I enjoy making and serving homemade baby food. We still supplement with store-bought foods because of their convenience, but I often prefer the homemade stuff. Even though grocery stores offer many different kinds of baby food, including organic options, my second son is eating a larger variety of foods—including cauliflower, parsnips and zucchini—at an earlier age than his older brother.

Is homemade baby food that much cheaper than store-bought food?
Does homemade baby food really taste any better than store-bought food?

For both these questions, I think the answer is, “it depends.”

  • Cost: Yes, the cost to purchase a bag of sweet potatoes is certainly cheaper considering the number of servings you can prepare. At the same time, you have to consider the time needed for preparing, steaming and to puree. Store-bought food is certainly more convenient, and especially easier when away from home.
  • Taste: In my opinion, there are some foods where store-bought doesn’t differ that much from the homemade versions (e.g., sweet potatoes). Although, I do think a generic store-bought “squash” doesn’t taste as good as my homemade butternut squash, for example.

Homemade cauliflower, butternut squash and broccoli purees.

Overall, I believe whichever option you choose for your baby is the right decision, whether store-bought food, homemade purees or both. As long as your baby is healthy and getting the nutrients/vitamins they need, does it really matter? I think it’s really about parents’ personal preferences and needs and what their babies are willing to eat!

Homemade Baby Food Resources

The links below are for resources I’ve found to be helpful. If you have additional info or advice to share, please leave a comment below.

Food safety

Introducing solid foods


Comments (7)

  1. Tiffany MacKay 10 years ago

    Awesome information Heddi. With my first son I made a majority of his food as we were introducing solids and then used store bought when we were out and about. I intend to do the same with my second son when he starts solids in the next couple of months and appreciate the links for different ideas and food combinations. My son is still a fantastic eater and I partly attribute that to the fact that we have always experiemented with a wide varitey of foods from the beginning. I just hope that my youngest is as good as my first!

    • Heddi 10 years ago

      Thanks, Tiffany. Good luck with introducing solids in the coming months. My first son ate everything without complaint, but I’ve noticed that baby #2 is is a little big pickier. Not such a huge fan of those green vegetables, it seems… 🙂

  2. Kristen 10 years ago

    Wish I had done this, but I did not. My brother and sister-in law are doing this for their new baby. I think it is a great idea!

    • Heddi 10 years ago

      Hi Kristen, I wish I had done this for my first son, as well. Although, he seemed to turn out just fine. 🙂 It’s really not that hard to do, and there are products that look like they would make it even easier, like the Beaba Babycook. I just use a regular ol’ blender though.

  3. Heddi 10 years ago

    FYI – Since I wrote this post, I’ve learned that the Bumbo Baby Seat used in the photos above is NOT recommended for use on elevated surfaces, like tables or counter tops. In fact, some consumer groups are calling for the company to recall this product due to serious injuries to infants that have fallen from the seat. For more info, see “Bumbo recall urged by consumer groups,” from Boston.com’s Consumer Alert Blog (http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/consumeralert/2012/02/bumbo_recall_urged_by_consumer.html).

  4. lisa k 8 years ago

    Good information. I was gonna comment on the bumbo as well 🙂 I found some more baby recipes on a blog http://www.pureelove.com that may be helpful to anyone making their own food.

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