These days, more and more of us are paying attention to what we're eating and putting into bodies, hence the growing popularity of organic and all-natural diets.
Of course, when we become parents, this same concern over health and quality of food comes into play. Many mums and dads are interested in providing their infants with the most natural food that they can - but we know all too well that with the time constraints of being a mother along with all your other responsibilities, mashing our own carrots and peas is not always the most practical solution. A recent study made a case for pumping up the produce in our babies' diets - but are the findings enough to make you bring out the blender on a regular basis?
The latest news on food
A recent study published in the The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology revealed that babies who eat more fruits and vegetables with fewer packaged foods were less likely to develop food allergies, Reuters Health reports.
As many mums know anecdotally, allergies are a problem plaguing more and more children these days. Researchers estimate that up to 80 per cent of children suffer from some kind of food allergy.
The research showed that babies who were on a diet richer in healthy and often homemade foods such as fruits, veggies, poultry and fish with few processed foods, were less likely to develop a food allergy by the age of 2 than those who ate more processed foods like pre-made meals, sauces and potato chips.
"It's not that they didn't have commercially-made baby foods, it's just that they did not have them predominantly in their diet," lead study author Kate Grimshaw told the news outlet.
A fight for freshness
Despite these findings, the study was unable to explain exactly why the results occurred, and did not show a cause and effect relationship between the diets and the incidence of food allergies.
Still, is it enough to convince you to give up on the jars of food for your baby?
Some parents prefer the fresh approach because it means they know exactly what their baby is consuming. Fresh fruit and veggies aren't loaded with added sugars, preservatives or chemicals. Instead, they're full of vitamins and minerals critical for healthy development.
Plus, choosing the au naturale approach may simplify your grocery shopping process - adding a few extra fruits and veggies to the shopping list for baby often costs less and is less hassle than buying him special pre-processed meals or special baby foods.
This method can also help to avoid fuss with your child as he starts developing his food preferences - he will get used to eating similar food to you. It also means you can introduce him to a wider variety of foods and flavours.
A case for the can
That all sounds pretty good, but what might the 'cons' to fresh, unprocessed baby food be? It's certainly not as convenient as pre-prepared baby food, which can just be opened and eaten on the go. Prepping and cooking the food for your baby takes a bit of extra time and planning, something that might be off-putting to a busy parent.
Homemade foods also don't keep quite as well as pre-packaged varieties, which can end up wasting food, money and time.
What do you think about this new study and the pros and cons of fresh baby food? Do you think you could fit it into your family's lifestyle?