Hey there! Sophie here. If you've been following along, you may already know that I spent a week in India earlier this month with my 2-year-old, Liba.
Whilst it's the most amazing experience to see the world through a toddler's eyes, between you and me it's never easy travelling with a little one. Add in anxieties about food and what she's eating - and the week away got me thinking about why it is I care so much about what she eats. And why I've made it my life's work to help other parents cook the highest possible quality of food for their children.
Empowering Intuitive Eaters
Ever notice how quickly a little one can suck down a puree pouch? 120mls gone in an instant - especially if there's fruit involved! This is because pouches are typically at least 50% water and are much smoother than what can be achieved in a home blender.
But with real food - be it spooned purees or whole pieces for baby-led weaning - the pace is naturally slower, and as a result your little one is able to tune in to their natural intuition and hunger/fullness cues and eat what their body knows is the right amount. And, as the parent you remain in control - knowing exactly what your child is eating.
The beauty of homemade food is that you know your baby is getting real, whole foods into their system. You can identify by eye what your child is eating, and in what quantities - so that you can fully keep track of your child's nutrition and intake. There's no mystery!
Ever wondered why lemon juice tends to make an appearance in the ingredients lists on baby food pouches and pots? This usually isn't for taste or nutritional value, but because lemon is a natural preservative used to extend shelf-life (it's citric acid in its natural form!)
With homemade food, there's no need for any of that - what you see is what you get, and your little one gets the real tastes of real foods, without the added bit of acid (easier on tummies too, if you ask us!).
Lower Exposure to Heavy Metals
Heavy metal exposure has little to do with whether the ingredients are organic. Metals make their way into store-bought food as a result of lengthy processing and commercial sterilisation.
Machinery coated with brass, bronze and plastic can expel toxins - especially when you consider that store-bought food has been treated in extreme heat in large vats for hours.
By cooking your own food, you lessen the length of time food needs to be exposed to heat and are in control, as much as possible, of the quality of the food that ends up on your little one's plate.
The Food Connection
Mealtime is about so much more than just food - it's the chance to connect with other people, with traditions, with important questions about what you're eating and where it came from. Children of all ages have a natural curiosity - our role as parents is to satisfy that curiosity and exploit their innate wish to 'be like us.'
Babies of all ages can be involved in the process of preparing their meals - even if it's just sitting next to you in the highchair in the kitchen.
Added bonus? What they see being prepared, they're more likely to trust - and therefore more likely to taste and enjoy. Homecooking is a wonderful way to create healthy habits for life for your little one.