When it's time for our babies to go on solid foods, we all want to feed them whatever is going to best nourish their growing bodies and get them accustomed to nutritious foods early on. But in addition to the healthful eating factor, a new study has shown that babies who eat unprocessed foods are less likely to develop food allergies.
The study was led by Kate Grimshaw at the University of Southampton in the UK and the results were published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers studied the eating habits of 1,140 babies after looking at food diaries kept by their parents.
Of the babies studied, 41 went on to develop a food allergy, and their diets were compared to 82 babies who did not wind up with an allergy. The ones without allergies were shown to have eaten more homemade baby foods consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, and fish, and less jarred baby food products and other processed foods. It's important to note, however, that the babies without allergies did not avoid the commercial food altogether; they simply did not have as much of it in their diet.
And while there may be other unknown factors that contribute to whether or not a child develops a food allergy other than what he eats, obviously the fresh fruits and veggies can't hurt.
And honestly, I guess we really shouldn't be all that surprised, given how much more control we have over what our babies are ingesting if we make the food ourselves. It makes sense that fresher, homemade food would have more nutrients, and more nutrients means more benefit for baby's overall health, right? The last thing any of us want is for our little ones to wind up with a food allergy, so if making our own food can help prevent it -- why not?
Sure, it takes a little more effort to steam, puree, and mash up your own foods versus grabbing one of those convenient little jars off the shelf. But if it's better for our babies, it's more than worth the extra time it takes to prepare foods that are not only fresh and delicious, but that also may save them from dealing with pesky allergies down the road.
Do you make your own baby food?
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