Home-made foods for infants might not be the right choice, says a study

lead image

A new study says that home-cooked meals specifically made for infants, might not be always healthier than commercially available baby foods

If you prefer giving home-made foods or cereals to your infant, we have a piece of news for you. A new study says that home-cooked meals specifically made for infants, might not be always healthier than commercially available baby foods.

The study found that home cooked meals might often exceed the exceed energy density and dietary fat recommendations. It observed that home cooked meals also provided 26 per cent more energy and 44 per cent more protein and total fat, including saturated fat, than commercial products.

“Unlike adult recommendations, which encourage reducing energy density and fats, it is important in infants that food is suitably energy dense in appropriately sized meals to aid growth and development,” said Sharon A. Carstair from the University of Aberdeen in Britain.

The study also said that while home cooked meals contained more protein and included a greater variety of vegetables, commercial products contained a greater vegetable variety per meal, averaging three compared with two for home cooked recipes.

Ready-made meals are a convenient alternative, but any parent looking to provide their child with a varied diet, should probably not rely solely on ready-made meals, the researchers said.

“Dietary fats contribute essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins together with energy and sensory qualities, thus are vital for the growing child, however, excessive intakes may impact on childhood obesity and health,” Carstair added.

Foods to include in your baby's diet

It's advisable to give a variety of foods to your baby in the first year so that he develops a liking for all foods. Some popular Indian food choices can be

  • Mashed rice with a little dal ka paani
  • Sooji kheer, dalia khichdi and lauki soup with lots of veggies in it. Gently mash the veggies so that the baby's stomach gets used to all the fibre.
  • You can add fruits such as apples, grapes and bananas to her diet. You can also steam the apples.
  • Egg whites can also be a nutritious option for babies besides paneer. You can give your infant fresh homemade paneer.
  • Vegetable soup which can easily be made by sautéing all veggies(including spinach) in a teaspoon of oil and then pressure cooking them for a minute is another healthy choice.

Also Read: These simple steps helped me turn my baby into a healthy eater

We’d love to hear from you. Tell us what you like about our stories and what you don’t. Your feedback will help us serve you better. Take the survey now!

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the article, please share them in our Comment box below or check out theAsianparent Community for more insightful parenting news and tips. Like us on Facebook and follow us onGoogle+ and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest from theIndusparent.com!