Long working day, finally home and then also having to make a mash for your baby or toddler.

A quick meal from a jar can be tempting.

How bad is that?

What are the differences between food from a jar or a fresh meal?

Experts explain.

"Babies prefer to come into contact with fresh fruits and vegetables from the very first bite, in order to get used to the textures, shapes and individual tastes," says Saskia Bouma, pediatrician and lifestyle coach.

"Babies who get the majority of their snacks from a jar run the risk of wanting much less fresh, nutritious food later in life because they are not used to it. This in turn can lead to obesity, which we see increasingly in The Netherlands."

"It's not that it makes much difference in terms of nutrients whether you make baby food fresh or buy it from a jar."

Saskia Bouma, pediatrician and lifestyle coach

Many nutrients are the same

It is also crucial that babies learn the flavors and textures of individual fruits and vegetables from the first bite, according to child nutrition coach Catherina Carvalho.

"With baby food in jars, everything is mixed together and pureed, which makes it more difficult for your child to appreciate and enjoy the loose vegetables later. And of course you don't want that."

"It is not the case that it makes much difference in terms of nutrients whether you make baby food fresh or buy it from a jar. Many macronutrients are the same, but a jar can of course contain many colors and fragrances, salt and sugars, which you can of course use. want to avoid as much as possible," says Bouma.

"Baby food from a jar is often cooked at high temperatures. Many vitamins and minerals are often lost in that process, so that a jar of baby food does have less nutritional values ​​than a fresh snack," explains Carvalho.

Drinking enough, and eating later, is important for your baby's development.

But how do you know what your baby needs?

And when do you actually start with snacks?

  • Parents of Nu has drawn up a handy baby feeding schedule (per month).

Matter of getting used to

Did you initially try to give your baby fresh vegetable snacks, but did your little one not like it?

"That's normal. Babies have to get used to vegetables that don't have a sweet taste. You may be tempted to add something sweet, but it's better not. You have to ask yourself where you want to go when your child When you are one or two years old, you naturally want him to be able to eat with what the jar is offering, and your child does not learn that by only eating food from jars," says Bouma.

Moreover, it becomes increasingly difficult to get a child used to fresh fruit and vegetables the longer you wait.

"It is important to strive for the ultimate desired dietary pattern, and therefore to start early with fresh snacks," says Bouma.

"Of course it is always better to know for yourself what exactly goes into the baby snacks, and you can only see that if you make it yourself. A baby jar can contain all kinds of preservatives: fresh is always better. But if you reaching for a baby snack from a jar after a busy day is of course not harmful at all, as long as the basis is good.A tip is, if you know that you have a busy week, to prepare baby snacks and put them in to freeze," adds Carvalho.

See also: Your child does not want to eat vegetables?

'Eat it yourself as a snack'