Friday, February 24, 2012

Why Does "Baby Food" Exist?

Greyson eating roasted seaweed for the first time
Before having a baby, I never questioned packaged baby food.  Why would I have?  I mean, babies need "baby food," right?

But now that I have a baby who's been eating solids for almost two months, I sort of don't get those jars of baby food you see at the grocery store.  I'm no super mom, but I make Greyson's food because it's easy, inexpensive and I want to give him lots of variety.  The other day, I looked at the baby food aisle for inspiration.  I was thinking, maybe there'd be some combinations of foods I haven't thought of or some vegetables that Greyson hasn't tried yet.  What I saw made me question why baby food exists.

I definitely get the perceived convenience factor of packaged foods.  But what I don't get is the foods themselves.  Most of the jars of food are just straight pureed vegetables and fruits.  What is it about babies that makes them undeserving of more interesting flavor?  Or is there some kind of fear around introducing flavor? 


When Rob and I were ready to start solids, our pediatrician said that the only thing that is off limits is honey and cow's milk until Greyson's 1 year old.  I was like, "Well, everyone says there's a giant list of things babies can't eat...so nuts and egg whites and all that other stuff is ok?"  She said, yes, it's all great and there's no proof that introducing those "allergenic" foods at certain times, keeps away the allergy.  I was like, say no more...great!  (I love my pediatrician because she gives me permission not to be neurotic.)  Ever since then, we've been giving Greyson a bit of everything.

But, can someone fill me in on why baby foods are flat and boring?  I know babies shouldn't be eating Tabasco sauce, but there's a whole world of flavors out there. 

Babies palettes are blank slates, so why do we give them boring stuff now and expect them to want and accept variety later?  I'm not trying to be a smart aleck by asking the question.  I genuinely don't understand the thinking behind it.  Is there a time when people think babies are ready for multidimensional and complex flavor? 

4 comments:

  1. babies need "baby food," right? ofcause. even a kid of 11-12 age still want to eat what they like. the babies not only eat when they like the taste but also they like the color or the look of food. i think so. my friend has a baby and he like everything soft and colorful. so she often use this way!!!

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