Posted on 14 Comments

Why is Baby Food so popular?

Baby food seems to be an emotive subject.  I stated my opinion on it on twitter, and I was rapidly unfollowed by 4 mum bloggers.  Who knew that baby food mums took it so seriously.    Nobody said anything in defence of baby food which was surprising, but there were plenty of us who think that jars (and the ready-made tubs ) of baby food for older children are just not needed.  I can see the snacks being useful, but the need for the meals confuse me.

Image: Sharron Goodyear /

My youngest came to me at 9 months old.  I was told that he had been fed on cow’s milk, and he didn’t like pot noodles, so I decided to take it from there.  I didn’t know any better, and with my mothers yada yada yada in my ear, I really never thought there was any other way of feeding a child, other than making something for them to eat.   From day 1 in my home, he began eating the kiddie sized portion of what we grown ups and his older brothers had for meals.

Saying all that, before I get struck down with some bug from a curse from the mothers rights brigade, it is every mums’ choice of what to feed their child.  The fact that their childrens’ taste buds might suffer eating bland gunk for so long in their lives is their choice.

What does annoy me is having to stand in a supermarket trailing my three hyperactive kids, who have little skills for waiting in line, to have to listen to a mummy righter blagging on about the baby food tub she had just bought in the shop – and wanted it heating up.  On and on she went about how was she going to feed her baby now.  The man behind the counter remained as calm as could be, although it was obvious he was dying to tell her exactly where to go.

She started off trying to persuade him to use the kitchens microwave to heat it up, but he explained that he couldn’t use industrial microwaves, then she tried to get him to let her go into the kitchen and heat it up herself.   He explained that it was against company policy to allow that.   I don’t know how often he said it, but eventually she paid for her food and walked away from the counter.

I had some sympathy for her, and stayed behind her in the queue without saying a word, as I could see that she was obviously getting stressed out about how to feed her baby.  When she asked what she was going to do now to feed her baby, I almost felt like joining in and championing her cause.

When I had my childrens’ food paid for and got seated, I found myself facing straight towards where she sat with her friend and her “baby”.  I felt a little jar of shock when I realised that this “baby” was well over a year old and possibly two or more.    The kids menu had several choices of things that would have suited that child perfectly well.  In the end, the mum mashed up some of her food, and spoon fed the little one.

My shock was at the fact that not only was she wanting baby food for such a big toddler, but that the toddler was getting it all mashed up, and not allowed to use a spoon or anything to eat it for herself.   Far from being unable to feed herself through some disability or special need, I spied the “baby’s” dexterity with toys and the ability to be able to potentially eat for herself was evident.

It’s the mum that seems to want to keep her baby as a baby, and not let her grow up.  Either that, or total laziness in feeding her child, so that the only thing she will eat is blah, blah, blah.   I have tasted the jars and tubs of baby food, and they are completely disgusting.  I suspect most children would turn away from them once they had “normal” not processed food to eat regularly.

I am not adverse to sticking on the odd packet of chicken nuggets, or pizza when I don’t have time to cook from scratch, but surely feeding toddlers that big on baby food is just silly.

If you want to unfollow me for that feel free, but I’d rather you debated the reasons for using it for older children with me.

I’d love to know the rationale and why baby food is so popular.  Feel free to comment below.

14 thoughts on “Why is Baby Food so popular?

  1. I have mainly fed all my children on home cooked meals – I started by purreeing vegetables & then went on to simply freezing purreed meals, then chopped meals & now I freeze small portions of our meals.
    My 3 children will eat anything they are given – the youngest (1) is currenlty sat opposite me tucking into cheese on toast for his lunch (strong cheddar too!)
    My Step Son was fed baby jars when he was little & he is the one that complains that food is too spicy etc. etc.
    It took sometime but he now eats everything we do including aubergine & courgettes.
    At the end of the day each Mum is free to choose what they feed their child & they should be supported in their decision & not made to feel inadequate for the choices they make.

  2. I’m just in shock that you were unfollowed! Seriously, some people need to get their heads out of their bums!

    1. And 6 more today who were mutual follows, gone in a puff of smoke lol. Have unfollowed 4 of them, but 2 I will miss.

  3. Well as someone who had her first in 1992 and had to go back to full time work after 12 weeks it never occurred to me to use anything other than baby food and without the Internet, all other mums talked about was baby rice, giving them organic baby food in a jar was then considered very posh! I was also afraid of giving adult food to any of my babies as there was always the worry that you would give them too much salt. Over time I would gradually introduce them to our diet and just use jars if we were out somewhere and stuck. Incidentally most restaurants in Ireland provide ‘baby bowls’ – often for free – of mashed potato with some veg mixed in with a little soup/gravy, and I still get that for Smiley as she cannot eat lumps.

    1. Those baby bowls in Ireland sound fab.

  4. I sometimes used jars/ packets or pouches with all 3 of my kids and I also very often cooked and pureed foods when they were young and then older cooked and frooze small portions. Sometimes it was easier to feed them from a jar if I was out and I went out a fair amount, mine always had them cold if that was the case. It may not have been the best taste in the world but it has done them no harm, I have 3 good eaters.

    I did not feed my toddlers on ready meals so I can not defend that. They ate small portions of our family meal.

    Each parent can choose to feed their child how they see fit, some people do not have the confidence to cook form scratch. If they feed their child something like an Ela’s kitchen pouch then that is far perferable to my mind that giving them part of an adult ready meal which may be their own evening meal or giving other snacky convenience foods.

    Just my opinion. Mich x

    1. I would agree with the adult v child ready mades I have to say. I really don’t know much about baby foods at all, but can see their use for younger children.

    2. I would totally agree with the point you made about being preferable to give a good quality baby meal rather than a portion of an adult ready meal. Absolutely full of salt and enhanced flavourings very often.

  5. I agree. I do understand that they’re easier sometimes – and mine very quickly got used to the idea that what came out of a jar was cold!

    But I reckon parents are so baffled and intimidated by the idea that they need to feed their children properly that the only way they can think to do it is to buy jars.

    1. That is sad if parents think like that. Luckily I had a mother who could cook, but must be hard for those who have no role model to help them.

  6. My LittleMan is just coming up for six months and about to be introduced to solids (home cooked by mummy I might add), so I can’t talk with any authority about why parents might choose to feed jars to bigger children.
    But to me, it just seems bizarre that they would when: a. it would be easier in the long run to get the child used to feeding themselves, and b. it’s cheaper to make your own or feed them “grown up” or child food which doesn’t have the stupid price mark ups. It just seems like a lot of extra agro to me for no gain whatsoever.

    1. I struggle to understand the difference between baby lead weaning and any other kind of weaning. It all sounds the same to me. Good luck with your little one and sure he will love your home cooked meals. Sooo expensive for the extra meals for baby food things.

  7. Personally I never used baby jars of meals etc unless it was an emergency and I hadn’t been shopping or something. Generally like you ours ate the same as us from a very young age starting with putting it through the baby mouli and gradually introducing lumpier consistencies.

    This was mainly because I knew exactly what was in my own food and we as a family did not enjoy processed food so it just seemed like the right thing to do.

    I think that there is some very aggressive marketing around the whole baby food industry and Mums are sometimes conned into thinking that what they provide is not good enough for whatever reason added vitamins etc etc.So whilst I think they can be great as a stand by they are expensive and not necessarily better.

    1. In my ignorance, I have to say I knew little of the processed baby food market when I was thrown into childcare. I think that was a lucky ignorance, as it never limited what I gave my boys, apart from salt and sugar.

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