gerber jar baby food--need some info pls - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-02-2006, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi all. i hope i'm posting this in the right place.

my sister and mom are "ganging" up on me cuz i want to make my own baby food when the time comes. granted it's not for a few months yet, but they told me that gerber jars are just fine. (sounds eerily like the BF vs. formula argument, huh?) i've read and have heard that they use lots of starchy fillers/water/suger/salt in their baby foods. am i wrong here? they are also telling me that the organic has less nutritional value!?! in addition i've read that gerber's cereal doesn't have much nurtitional value except for the iron--that nature's best is better cuz it's whole grain brown rice. anyway, does anyone know of links about the ingredients? my sister is convinced that gerber doesn't add salt and/or sugar to their baby food. i'm so tired of having to back up my parenting with proof! but sometimes i feel like fighting the good fight, kwim? one of these days i'm going to ask for proof that formula feeding is better for you babies. lol. i don't think that would go over well. any help really would be greatly appreciated. whatever you know about the subject would help as well. thanks!
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Old 09-02-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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Buy a few jars of the gerber baby food, then mash up some sweet potatos or other things you plan on making for your babe, and then do a blind taste test with them. See if they think it's "just as good." Feed them some of the mashed up meats and meat sticks, yum.

And why do they think you need to buy tiny jars of food, when in actuality your baby can eat most of what ever you are eating. My niece has never eaten jarred baby food. She eats what the rest of us eat - avocado, baked potato sticks, asparagus, cheese, crackers, grapes, and tons of my dad's homemade icecream.

You don't eat food out of a jar all the time, why should your baby? There was an old Mothering with an article entitled "Baby Food is Whatever I Feed My Baby." And your baby's food is none of their business.
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:22 PM
 
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I agree that it is none of their business. Even if the jarred food is free of fillers it is still not as good as fresh food. Nutrients are lost and the taste is definitely not as good. It is also cheaper and so easy to feed your baby what you eat. I worked our menu around good first foods. So we would have sweet potatoes with our dinner one night, avocados another, we'd have pears or bananas with our lunch and then I could just smoosh or cut up some pieces for her. If family doesn't understand, then they need to hear that this is how it's going to be and that they're free to do things their way with their own kids.

I just re-read my post and it sounds kind of harsh...I guess it depends on your relationship and if they are asking questions nicely or trying to get you to go against your instincts.
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:30 PM
 
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This might be one of those arguments you choose not to engage in -- after all, it really isn't their business! My mom never argued that jarred food and conventionally grown was better or more nutritious, just that it was just as good as homemade and organic. She responded well to fear tactics. I reminded her about the glass in baby food jars, cyanide in Tylenol, and other instances of food and drug tampering. Not exactly ethical, but very effective! I also got very very used to saying "Thanks for your advice, but I'm making the decision that's best for us." If you do choose to try to convince them, you might enlist the aid of your midwife, ob, pediatrician, naturopath, etc -- anyone whose opinion they would respect. It also shouldn't be too hard to find information about the superiority of whole, unprocessed foods, even if it isn't specific to baby foods.
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all your advice. i'm a new mama and i'm the "weirdo" in my family. i have 4 sisters (2 which have kids) and i'm the only one that dares to do things differently. i truly believe in feeding dd what i eat. that's just the way it is. i never thought i would buy baby food, cuz it's really just "grown-up" food with additives packaged in jars with a cute baby on it. you're all right. i should just let it go. i'm so new to this whole thing. it was different when i wasn't a parent, tho. they never questioned the wholesome organic preference in food until now. now that i have a baby it's like an invitation for everyone to tell me what i'm doing wrong! it started the day i said i wanted to have natural childbirth. my sisters and mother were rioting! it was truly hysterical, IMO. so happy i got to show them up on that one by having my natural birth. anyway, i guess i just needed a little vent. dh keeps telling me i need to have more faith in my decisions as a mother and not let them bother me so much. it's my baby, my family. it is nice to come here tho and get a reality check and support. thanks!
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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I do have to say that I would love to hear that you asked for "proof" of the things they assert.
Tit for tat (so to speak)

Good luck

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:08 AM
 
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Hi Melissa,

I'm in the same boat as you, my whole family are very mainstream (and not what I would consider "good" mainstream parents either) and they think that I'm either a freak who is conducting some bizarre experiment on my little one just to be awkward, or that I'm just doing things differently to make them feel bad.
Obviously the reason could never be just that this is the best way to do things for my little one. If you want to have a rant about families who don't understand to someone who's coming through it finally feel free to PM me! My dd is 2 and the pressure is finally easing up somewhat although the fact that I'm still bfing her is almost causing fainting fits in my relatives now!
Lots of love and well done for doing things your own way.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:08 AM
 
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My DD maybe ate 2 jars of baby food, and she wasn't that crazy about them. She just ate whatever we ate. And forget about the cereal, that stuff isn't a good first food anyway, and will probably just constipate the poor thing! If you want to give a grain, throw some rice in a food processor or blender, then boil (stirring a lot). The book 'Super Baby Food' is a great resource for making your own baby food. http://www.amazon.com/Super-Baby-Foo...e=UTF8&s=books
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:03 PM
 
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making it is better id think

i did use gerber...but you have to read the labels. the #1 jars of gerber are just the ingrediant, and maybe water.........

stay away from the desserts (not as healthy)

gerber does make organics too, but read the labels as for fillers.

anyway, use the #1 jars of simple "carrots" and stuff , and they are pretty good.
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:16 PM
 
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I used to use some of the jarred prepared foods, and make some of my own baby food for DS. I basically skipped babyfood altogether for my girls- I nursed them and offered them table food, and they didn't eat much in the way of solids until 9 or 10 months when they could eat "big people foods." I think I used 3 jars total for my oldest and about a dozen jars total for my 2nd baby.

In the grand scheme of things, I don't think jarred vs home-made baby food is a "biggie." If you read the labels carefully, it's not hard to find stage 1 and stage 2 foods that contain nothing but fruit or veggies and water. IIRC all the stage 1 foods are single-ingredient jars, and the stage 2 have some single-ingredient (but in a more economical 4oz jar instead of the 2.5oz jar) and some of the stage 2 foods are a mixture of 2 or more fruits or veggies.

Making your own babyfood is much cheaper than purchasing dozens of jars a month- if your baby eats that much mushy food. If you don't use much babyfood at all, it doesn't make much difference- I used to buy the jars for DS when I bought prepared food for myself (like I'd go into a supermarket and pick up a jar or two of babyfood for him and a couple packs of sushi for myself.)

I don't think you'll be compromising any major values if you let grandma or auntie buy a couple jars of babyfood to keep on hand for times when you're too busy to deal with preparing fresh food, or for times when what you've made for the rest of the family isn't easy to share with baby.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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I say skip all the purrees- homemade AND jar. If baby is ready for solids, they're ready for soft chunks they can self-feed.

-Angela
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxswood
they think that I'm either a freak who is conducting some bizarre experiment on my little one just to be awkward, or that I'm just doing things differently to make them feel bad. Obviously the reason could never be just that this is the best way to do things for my little one.
: My family is EXACTLY the same way. :
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:45 PM
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Absolutely don't use what you don't want to; that said, except for the "desserts" (why does a baby need dessert??), the jarred foods are real food, not fillers. No salt or sugar in the Beech-Nut brands at all, and Gerber now has a big organic line. (Packaged in plastic, so that's not great . . . )

For a number of reasons, sensory issues being the biggest, we have ended up using a lot of jarred food. But there are plenty of good organic and even veg options, if a family does go that route. (I mainly say all this so you don't have to feel freaked out if they babysit and end up feeding her some jarred food.)

I agree that, with the quality ingredients available now, jarred vs. homemade food isn't the biggie it used to be. Trusting yourself, however, is, and it sounds like you're doing fine.
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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my mom watches my son while i work and will give him earth's best jarred food which i'm not crazy about. so i started making and freezing food for him. he didn't eat much of anything but bm till 10-11mo. now he eats (homemade) shredded chicken in broth, mashed (not pureed, just leftover from our dinners) carrots or squash. also banana slices, avacado. i recently made some beef stew for him -left over shredded pot roast, mashed potatoes, mashed carrots, peas and beef broth. he loves it! my other problem is she feeds him too many cereals, but atleast they are whole grain. i really had to work on her to give him the chicken, giving meat to a baby seems totally foreign to her. though once she saw how much he loved it, that helped.

and if you just feed them canned veggies and fruit and cereal how are they going to get the fat that a growing baby needs? i make sure the veggies i make are mashed up with plenty of raw butter. when he's with me i don't make special food for him, he eats what i eat. in the beginning i would chew up his chicken for him. my husbands cousin who started her baby on gerber jarred food and cereal at 6mo like a good girl, has problems getting her 13mo to switch to real food. he constantly chokes on anything other than mush. my ds has no problems, loves all sorts of 'strong' flavors (onions, olives, pickles, curries, garlic, cod liver oil), and has no problems chewing things -he works on tangerine slices or blueberries or cherry tomatoes until he's eaten all the flesh and then spits the skin out, though he's now (at 12mo) starting to eat the skins too.
i don't know if any of that helps you, but anyway even if gerber doesn't add salt/sugar that doesn't change that the stuff is cooked to mush -there is so much more nutrition in fresh foods. if your sister wants to feed that stuff to her kids thats 'fine' but you want 'better' for your own child. that said, i do agree with a pp that i wouldn't worry about an occasional jar or two while your child is with grandma.

mama to DS born 9/7/05, DD born 8/20/07, DS born 9/4/10 and DS born 11/26/13


Loving our chaotic, crunchy, homeschooling life!
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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Gerber does add sugar to some of their baby food - look at the labels for those puddings and 'desserts' next time you're in the supermarket. I couldn't believe people would feed pudding to babies that young.

If you look at the 'organic' brands of babyfood, they often don't add all those vitamins and minerals to the food that Gerber does. Probably because the organic ones are mostly whole foods to start with. Gerber has to add it back in because they're not using whole grains.

The Gerber cereal is a just a iron pill really. You can make your own whole grain cereals. You can buy some organic, wholegrain ones also - brown rice, oatmeal and the multigrain usually has oats, rice and millet.

A good 'how to' book for making your own babyfood is Super Baby Food. It's vegetarian but can be adapted easily. I think the author's portions are a bit on the big size though - think it's intended to wean by 12 mo. but it is very descriptive and full of ideas.

Perhaps your sister and mum feel guilty because Gerber is all they did?
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:23 PM
 
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feed them what you make. We did this with our kids and often our kids are the one's that'll "eat anything" meaning different meats, fish, and veggies. What my kids can't tolerate though is processed food. it makes them throw up, not because they don't like it but because their stomachs are used to what's good for them.
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