Choosing The Best Store-Bought Baby Food
Has your baby crossed the initial development markers and is ready for some supplementary food? Here’s what you need to know before you purchase supplementary baby food from stores.
Has your little one recently started to reach out and grab whatever you are eating? Well, congratulations! Your baby has crossed some key development markers and is ready to try some solid food items. It's time that you start spoon-feeding your baby alongside his normal breastmilk or formula diet. Between easy-to-make baby foods, pre-prepared baby food subscription services, and the plethora of packaged baby food products in the retail stores, there are numerous supplementary diet options for your little ones these days. But it’s very challenging and overwhelming to decide which baby food is healthy and nutritious.
If you are among the parents who constantly switch between store-bought baby foods in an attempt to find the best one, this guide is for you! Learn how to choose the best store-bought baby food for your little one with these simple tips.
What to Know
Shopping for baby food can be exciting and confusing. With so many brands and different compositions, it’s hard to figure out what’s what and choose the right product. Unfortunately, baby food products are not currently regulated by FDA, unlike formula milk. But baby food manufacturers still follow regulations associated with all food items. So, the only way to know what baby food product is best is to look through the label. Make this a rule. Whenever you buy a new baby food, check the label and ingredients to make sure you are not purchasing something unhealthy.
Tips To Choose the Best Store-Bought Baby Food
Tip #1: Know about the heavy metal content in your baby’s food
You may not know but most baby food products are rich in heavy metals, and this information can be scary for some parents. But you will be happy to hear that a bill was passed in Congress last year that dictated baby food manufacturers to reduce the content of certain heavy metals in their products. Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also claimed that levels of heavy metals in new baby food products are considerably low.
While all this can really concern parents, you also should know that according to recent studies, heavy metals found in baby food are unlikely to endanger your child’s health. But still, no parent will willfully feed their babies arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium.
We advise parents to check the metal content on the box before feeding their baby any store-bought food. Another thing you must do is avoid feeding your baby rice cereal because these products are usually rich in arsenic. And your baby doesn't actually need it. Other grains like oatmeal and barley can easily provide nutrition to your child, and these cereals usually have lower levels of heavy metals.
Tip#2: Learn how to read baby food labels
Checking the label is the first essential step when you are looking for perfectly healthy baby food. Here are some things you need to check before you buy anything off the shelf for your bub.
· The first ingredient: Always check the first ingredient from the ingredient list. For instance, if you’re looking for pureed peas, the first ingredient on the jar or the pouch should be peas.
· Avoid food with maskers: When you are buying vegetable-based baby food, make sure the product doesn’t consist of a lot of sweeteners to mask the original taste. It’s best if your baby learns to decipher tastes from an early age.
· Look for sugar-free: Most food products include natural sugar, which is fine, but extra sugar should be a big no-no for your baby.
· Find month/stage: Baby food products are usually marked by months or stages. This indicates if the certain food product is suitable for your baby at the current stage. So, make sure to research that before your purchase anything off the counter.
Tip#3: Check the expiration date
You may have heard about the wiggle room when it comes to the expiration dates on food items. Well, according to safety standards, the wiggle room concept doesn't apply to packed baby food products. Experts suggest that it's best to throw out old baby food even if it's just one day past its expiration date. Don't trust the stores either to remove the expired products from the shelves, because they sometimes fail to do so, making it possible for parents to buy expired, unusable baby food products. Therefore, make it a habit to check the expiration on every baby food item you purchase off the shelf.
Tip#4: Choose jars over pouches
You will mostly see baby food products these days in pouches, and it makes sense. Pouches promote self-feeding, and they are super convenient to carry, but feeding your little one solely through pouches can sabotage her growth. Experts say that pouch feeding limits oral motor development in babies, and this can significantly affect their ability to eat efficiently.
If you are hearing about this fact for the first time and have already stocked up on pouches, try to empty the content in a bowl and feed your baby through a spoon. Spoon feeding aids the development of mouth muscles and is comparatively much better than slurping. However, you can use pouched food for out-and-about meals.
A Word from ACRABROS
ACRABROS is a reliable and confided-in store that deals in a variety of baby products and essential supplies. If you are a new parent in search of a good store to buy high-quality newborn essentials, you can check out our website. We sell products like convenient, multifunctional infant car seat covers, sleeping bags, crib sheets, bassinets sheets, and various other items.
Visit our website now to shop for amazing newborn supplies!