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Thread: Protein content in jarred baby food?

  1. #1

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    Default Protein content in jarred baby food?

    I give our boy a mixture of bought and home-made organic baby food (he still hates lumps and will only eat super smooth purees). I always cook up meat and make custard for him in an attempt to increase what I believe to be a very small percentage of protein in the bought food.



    Given that he is still on formula, this isn't a major concern of mine, but I have yet to come across a jar of food that contains more than 10% meat.

    I know that there are a lot of babies out there that are fed jarred/canned food exclusively and I just wanted to know if all of their protein (and therefore iron) requirements are met.

    Do you think the food manufacturers work on the premise that if the food is given in conjunction with formula then the protein / meat content is adequate?

    I would just like to know people's thoughts and opinions on this.

  2. #2

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    If you're worried about iron, they fortify some baby cereals (like the Raffertys garden cereals) with iron, and it could be a good way to start introducing lumps too.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Leasha. I already give him RG cereal and he quite enjoys it. I have posted this question because I have read that iron is more readily absorbed through meat/pulse protein compared to any fortified food (including formula).

  4. #4

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    Yes, I do think manufacturers work on the assumption that food is given with formula.

    If you want to get more meat into your super smooth purees, you can cook up a piece, freeze it straight away, and then grate it from frozen into his food before you heat it. I used to do this when I was nannying, and honestly, it is SO easy.

  5. #5

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    Great idea Audax!

    I found Jazz really enjoyed soft meats like roasted chicken (white meat like breast) or roast lamb to gum on, but we did BLS so thats probably not helpful either!

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the tip, Audax At the moment I am just blending mince until it is as smooth as I can get it and then freezing it in individual portions. I imagine getting chicken that smooth will be more challenging so I may use your grating suggestion for that!

  7. #7

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    Sambo, that is a very good question. As you are aware, the iron in things like formula and fortified rice cereal is very poorly absorbed by the body, so often babies don't get enough iron from these sources. I would be very surprised if there is enough iron absorbed from any jarred food either.

    You are correct that the iron in meat is the most easily absorbed form of iron, and for this reason, as well as the fact that it is also high in zinc which is another essential nutrient for brain development, meat is now recommended as a first food for babies. I wonder if you have tried your DS with finger foods yet? Babies can eat finger food from the time they start solids so it would be fine to try him on these if you would like. Some good sources of meat to start with are spaghetti bolognaise and pieces of steak (big enough that they can't swallow them) to suck and chew on. Safe (that is smooth and strong) bones are also good for them to chew on.

    If you would like to know more about introducing finger foods early, have a look at the Baby Led Solids Threads - http://www.bellybelly.com.au/forums/...ed-solids.html and http://www.bellybelly.com.au/forums/...atter-4-a.html.

  8. #8

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    Thanks MR. He does chew on pieces of toast and baby rusks. He will even give a whole pear a good go, but he hardly swallows any of it. He gets really whingy until I give him the bulk of his food in puree form and this is where we run into lump-issues. He just seems to want to guzzle it down without chewing or mashing. If there are any lumps he gags and after he gags a few times he refuses anymore until I offer him some smooth grub. It isn't bothering me and I know in time he will have more lumpy food (I try periodically with lumpy food to see if things have improved). In summary, he doesn't ingest the volume he wants / requires in BLS form so at this stage it isn't a solution in that it still leaves him hungry.

  9. #9

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    Hun, babies don't need much in the way of solids at 7 months. If he's not eating a lot with BLS, it's most likely because he doesn't need much yet. If you are happy to keep pureeing then that's fine, go with that, but you might like to include some meat if you can. Also, the chewing/sucking on pieces of steak and bones should still work and will help with the iron and zinc levels.

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