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Is it ok to feed my baby store brought baby food?

At our Starting Solids Workshops, one of the most common questions is "Is it ok to give my baby store brought baby food?". Here is my answer:

These are fine to use in moderation. They are convenient, hygienic and most of the tinned/satchel baby food is very healthy. They are great for travelling and on the go! 

However, I would not recommend using these everyday, for a number of reasons: 1. Babies can get used to the taste of these and learn to prefer these over home cooked food. This makes things difficult in the long run as babies need to learn to eat family foods. 2. The texture of these packaged foods is usually very smooth puree. Babies need to learn to accept a variety of textures so eating only puree does not achieve this. It also may delay speech as eating mashed foods and fingerfoods helps develop the muscles required for speech. 3. These foods generally have less iron in them than home cooked meat and vegetable dishes. Even in some 'beef' or 'lamb' packaged foods, when you actually read the ingredient list, beef or lamb only makes up a tiny portion of the meal. 

4. Savoury sachets often contain a high portion of apple to sweeten them. While this makes babies like the meal, it is not getting babies used to the difference between sweet and savoury dishes.   So these are completely fine to use on moderation and great for travelling. Just try to maintain a good balance between home cooked foods and packaged foods.

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