From the Jar or Blender: Which Baby Food Is Best?


The debate continues on whether homemade baby food is better than commercially produced food. Most moms have been in on the conversation at some point, whether or not they still have a 6- to 9-month-old.

“Both types of food have pros and cons,” says Mona Rifka, MD, pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic’s Hillcrest Hospital.

Baby food in the jar is convenient and portable, but some parents worry about:

For these and other reasons, some moms have opted to take the homemade route. They cook, mash and store fresh food themselves, which can be less expensive yet more time consuming. Other sour notes include:

“If parents want to make homemade food, it’s fine as long as they do it safely.”

Which food is best?

According to Dr. Rifka, it’s up to you. The concerns aren’t dire enough to rule out either type of food. She recommends a combination — making homemade food for dining in and buying jar food for dining out, since unopened jar food doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

“The quality of processed baby food is no longer an issue,” she says. “There are high-quality, natural baby foods on store shelves now, and most well-known brands have good safety records. But if parents want to make homemade food, it’s fine as long as they do it safely.”

Do’s and don’ts for making homemade baby food

If you choose to make baby food yourself, follow these guidelines:

Healthy snacks for babies (and moms) on the go

No time for homemade? Busy parents can still feed their babies fresh foods that don’t come in a jar. Take one of these along on your next outing: