A Guide to Commercial Baby Foods
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Commercial baby food you buy in stores is convenient to feed your baby. There
are many varieties to choose from. How do you know which ones to buy?
- Plain meats provide more protein than mixed dinners, such as chicken and
- Plain fruits are a better buy and are more nutritious than fruit desserts.
- Baby jars of fruit juice are expensive. You can use other forms of juice,
but be sure the juice is fortified with vitamin C.
- Plain baby cereals are a better buy than cereals with fruit added. A box
of dry cereal is a better buy than baby cereal in jars.
- Read baby food jar labels. Choose foods without added salt or sugar.
- Compare labels. "Chicken and Vegetables" will contain more meat
than "Vegetables and Chicken."
- Donít buy or use sticky or stained jars of baby food.
- Only buy jars with safety buttons on tops that are pushed in.
Remember, infants and toddlers have little resistance to bacteria and can get
sick even when you do not. Take precautions to be sure the food for your baby is
- Wash baby food jars and containers before opening
- Listen for the "pop" sound. If the jar lid does not
"pop", do not use.
- Put a small amount of baby food into a clean dish. Do not feed your baby
right from a jar or container unless he or she will eat all of it. Do not
use again if the baby has been fed from the jar.
- Cooked fruits and vegetables should be kept only 3 days in the
refrigerator. Mashed raw fruits should be kept only 2 days. Cooked meats can
be kept 2 days also.
- Freeze small amounts of baby food in ice cube trays or small containers
and store in freezer bags that are labeled and dated.
- Fruits and vegetables can be kept frozen for 6 to 8 months. Store frozen
meat 1 to 2 months.
- Store dry cereals in tightly covered containers and check for insects
Karen Elliot, ElliottK@missouri.edu
Regional Specialist, Nutrition and Health Education
Jackson County, Missouri
University of Missouri Extension