Doctors and food scientists can’t stress enough the importance of proper diet and its effects on the quality and duration of one’s life. This is even more true for people who are in their early developmental phase, or in other words – babies and children. Responsible parents put a lot of thought and effort into feeding their babies according to health care practitioners’ recommendations and standard baby nutrition practices. That means introducing different types of food gradually, watching out for ingredients that are still not safe for the baby in that age, and certainly watching out for unhealthy additives.
One thing that often comes up in the form of debate among parents, nutritionists and others interested in proper diet is whether freezing baby food is acceptable. This is, of course, a decision that parents should make on their own, just like many other decisions that have to do with their child’s health. However, in order to feel good about a decision, it’s always the best to first take into consideration all the pros and cons surrounding a debatable issue.
Cons: The Negative Aspects of Using Frozen Baby Food
Most people agree that fresh foods contain the most nutrients necessary for proper development. When used at the peak of their ripeness and within a day or two of their picking, they are full of vitamins and nutrients, which is when they should be pureed and made into a baby’s meal. After a while they start deteriorating, so if they’re not frozen at the peak of their ripeness, they won’t be as nutritious.
When you freeze ripe and nutritious produce, you only have a certain amount of time to use the frozen package. If you go beyond the recommended food storage period, you risk feeding your baby food that has lost its nutritional value. Also, it’s very important to wrap or package the food properly before freezing it. If it’s not properly packaged, there’s a chance the food will dehydrate or oxidate, which again leaves you with ingredients that are not recommended for babies, or anyone else.
Note that if bought during its season, fresh produce is usually cheaper than frozen, so that’s another reason to steer away from frozen and go for fresh foods.
Finally, parents often don’t have time to prepare meals from scratch every day, so they resort to ready-made frozen baby meals in supermarkets. Watch out if you do use these products. Read their food labels for clues about potentially unhealthy and unnecessary additives.
In short, the cons of freezing baby food are:
- Potentially low nutritional value
- Dehydrated or unsafe for eating, if not properly packaged
- More expensive than fresh food during its season
- Potentially full of additives and harmful ingredients, if it is a ready-made frozen baby meal bought at a supermarket
Pros: What You Might Not Know About Freezing Baby Food
If freezing baby food is handled properly, then the food is as nutritious and healthy as fresh one. That means that the produce will have to be washed properly, frozen immediately after picking and wrapped tightly. The advantage of using properly frozen food is in the fact that it lasts longer. When you use fresh food, you have to eat it within a couple of days, which means you have to go shopping pretty often. Frankly, who has time for that with a baby? Freezing food allows you to manage your time and resources more effectively.
In addition, freezing baby food allows you to keep many types of vegetables and fruits almost throughout the year, so you can feed your baby a variety of ingredients, not just what’s available during the season.
In short, the pros of freezing baby food are:
- More produce variety during the whole year
- Less time spent on frequent shopping trips
- Less time spent preparing meals
Think about these reasons for and against using your freezer for your baby’s meals, so you can be at peace with the decision you make.