There's absolutely no need to make life difficult for yourself and feel guilty about giving your baby jars of commercial baby food. Each type of food has its advantages, and it would be wrong to deprive yourself and your baby of any. What matters above all is to make life as simple as possible for yourself while satisfying your baby's love of food!
Make the most of both!
If you know your way around a kitchen, you almost certainly want to have your little food lovers benefit from your culinary skills! Of course, homemade food demands time, a well-stocked fridge and the necessary equipment, particularly for making baby food. Jars of baby food that you can buy in the shops, on the contrary, are very practical. Not only this, the law now requires them to provide a source of vitamins and minerals. The tests carried out for nitrates and other pollutants are so strict that it is sometimes even safer to buy a jar of puréed carrots than make it yourself. When your baby is just starting to eat solid foods, the quantities are so small that it is not always easy to cook 30 g of vegetables. So you can see, there is not just one but several solutions for satisfying your child's appetite as they explore and develop their sense of taste.
I made it myself!
When you first start introducing solids, first of all, make sure you have the right equipment. The best solution is to invest in a special baby food processor (or borrow one from a friend, if you can). This magical machine will defrost, heat up, steam and purée with one click of a switch! Fortunately, if you don't want to invest, there are other methods you can use. You can use a steamer (which cooks all by itself while you play with your baby!), boil the ingredients in unsalted water or cook them in a microwave in a suitable container. Add to this a food processor or blender (it just needs to process the food smoothly enough, especially for babies) and you're all set!
In terms of organization, try to cook enough for several meals and freeze the excess. Also, try to always have one meal prepared in advance: there's nothing worse than trying to cook something at the last minute with a tired and hungry child on your hands after a long day at work.
Finally, when you are shopping, work out your menus for the week ahead. This is the best way to ensure your children's meals are varied. You could even draw up a weekly meal plan; a bit like being back at school, but efficient nonetheless. When you are buying ingredients, think how you can use them in different recipe combinations throughout the week (potatoes mashed with fish, or in a shepherd's pie, for example). In terms of ingredients, choose vegetables and fruit in season, as they will be richer in vitamins and also cheaper! Also, feel free to use frozen vegetables; they are ready to use, pre-peeled and you can use them in exactly the quantity you need!
As regards meat and fish, and in particular if you have several generations to feed, keep the most tender parts for the little ones (chicken breast, for example). That way, everyone will enjoy their meal!
One final tip: there is no need to add salt or sugar to your homemade purées and fruit compotes. Nature knows best and the salt and sugar found naturally in fruit and vegetables are quite sufficient for your baby's delicate little organism.
All in all, if you have the time and want to do it, cooking up little homemade meals for your baby is not very complicated. Don't forget that cooking should also be fun; your baby will love watching you potter around the kitchen!
For some ideas for tasty recipes, see the guide
Nestlé's commitment to quality
Why not alternate between homemade recipes and ready-made baby meals? These are perfectly adapted to your baby's needs, and have the added bonus of providing just the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals! In fact, infant nutrition products are subject to much stricter legislation than products for adults. Nestlé has taken this even further through strong commitments to the following:
- The limited salt content in our products so as not to overload your baby's fragile organism. Our Stage 1 recipes (4 months and up) contain no added salt and our recipes from Stage 2 onwards contain salt in only limited quantities*.
- Limited added sugar in our products so that your baby does not become accustomed to overly sweet flavors. Our fruit compotes are therefore 100% fruit.
- The right quality and quantity of fats in our meat and fish recipes and in our NESTLE Croissance+ range, to help the development of your baby's nervous system.
- The right amount of protein in our milk, meat and fish-based recipes. We consider it essential to respect your baby's organism.
- A commitment to taste and flavor in our recipes, which really are tastier thanks to new cooking techniques that respect the ingredients.
These commitments enable us to offer you recipes that both respect your baby's still fragile and immature organism while helping them to develop good eating habits.
It's good to be spoiled for choice! It's up to you to put together the best combination of solutions to help your little cherubs discover the wonderful world of taste!
*According to current regulations.
Sandrine, mother of 1-year old Manon, 11-year old Adrien and 6-year old Anna.
" Some nights, I make a single meal for the whole household: fish in filo pastry with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon, and dill, served with a vegetable purée with a little crème Fraiche and nutmeg. Everyone loves it and Manon, who is one, is as happy as can be! Of course, I don't add any salt to her portion and I adjust the quantities, but she doesn't know that and it's just lovely to see how proud she is to be eating the same meal as everyone else !"
Get full access to expert-backed nutrition support
Curated content based on your preferences
Learn about various feeding options and what each means for you and your baby
Tailored Practical Tools
Try our tailored practical tools to guide you through the parenting journey.
My First 1000 Days club
Customised notifications, reminders and newsletters
Still haven't found what you are looking for?
Try our new smart question engine. We'll always have something for you.