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Why Store-Bought Baby Food Is Harmful? (3 Reasons & Tips)

Baby Being Spoon Fed Food
Baby Being Spoon Fed Food

Most busy parents prefer to buy store-bought baby foods and powders instead of making homemade baby food. Even though they are time-saving, these packaged foods can harm your child's health.

Why bother to cook at home when you have an extensive variety of packaged food available at grocery stores? We encounter such kinds of questions when we say that store-bought food is harmful to babies.

To end this debate, we are here today with the reasons why store-bought food is harmful and why you should avoid purchasing it. So, let's dive into the reasons without any further ado!


In This Article


Why Store-Bought Baby Food Is Harmful?

According to HBBF (Healthy Babies Bright Future), 94% of store-bought baby foods are contaminated with any of the four heavy metals.

The heavy metals can cause severe issues with your baby's health as the digestion and immunity system of babies is not fully developed. Parents have to take care of these in the initial stages of the baby's development.

The four harmful heavy metals are:

  1. Lead

  2. Mercury

  3. Cadmium

  4. Arsenic

Below we've given a detailed view of why you should avoid store-bought baby foods.

Toxic and Contaminated

The Oversight Subcommittee revealed that baby foods contain dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals. Almost all baby products contain one out of four high amounts of heavy metals. This includes arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. These metals can cause neurological disorders in babies.

Exposing your child to packaged food composed of heavy metals is like feeding your child slow poison. It leads to incurable and persistent brain damage in children.

Baby food manufacturers have been knowingly selling their products, shattering the trust of parents.

Companies, namely Beech-Nut Nutrition, Happy Family-Food (Nurture Inc), Earth’s Best (Hain Celestial), Plum Organics (Campbell Soup), and Gerber, have been issued with lawsuits in various districts of the USA for adding contaminants to some of their infant food products. This includes products such as bottled water, juices, candy, and infant rice cereal.

A study has shown that exposing children to these chemicals has resulted in the loss of 1.57 IQ points per child. Making a total of 40,131,518 IQ points in 25.5 million children, more than the total IQ losses associated with preterm birth, brain tumours, and traumatic brain injury combined.

Use of Preservatives

Packaged foods also contain listed and unlisted preservatives or additives to increase the shelf-life of the product. This decreases the quality and nutrition with time. Preservatives may cause problems among young children like hyperactive behavior.


Besides all the other health factors, making homemade food for your baby is relatively cheaper than store-bought products.

You might have to spend a good twenty minutes in your kitchen out of your busy schedule, but it will all be worth it for your child's health and safety. You will be proud of making delicious recipes for your child that they will be eating and licking their fingers.

When Can Children Start Eating Solids?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents can start feeding their children solids from the age of 4-6 months.

Starting solids too early may cause problems in the stomach like constipation, pulmonic diseases, and asthma. Feeding solids after the age of six months reduces the risk of food allergies in children. Before you jump onto solid foods, try giving your baby purees.

Tips for Feeding Your Child Food

Once you are all set to feed your child homemade solids, here are some important key points for you to bear in mind.

  1. Don't shove overflowing spoons of food into your baby’s little mouth. One to two tablespoons of food is more than enough.

  2. You can store the leftovers in an ice cube tray. The night before you plan to use the leftovers, transfer the cube to your fridge in an airtight bag.

  3. Experiment with different foods over three days to detect any food allergies.

  4. Choose high- chairs and booster seats free of toxic flame retardants. These chemicals are damaging to babies’ development.

  5. And most importantly, don't forget to enjoy your mealtime with your little one!


1. Should I prefer homemade baby foods rather than store-bought baby foods?

It's a big Yes! Homemade baby foods are more nutritious and healthy for the development of your baby. They help more in physical and mental development. So yeah, always go for homemade baby foods.

2. Is homemade baby food costly?

Homemade baby food is less costly as compared to store-bought. When you buy some raw materials for making homemade food, they are cooked and used in the long run with repetition. Whereas the store-bought gets utilized in a few days, and you have to buy them again.

Infographic: Store-Bought Baby Food Harms
Infographic: Store-Bought Baby Food Harms

Takeaway from Sheasmother

Packaged and store-bought baby food for children, contains overflowing and high amounts of toxic chemicals that can harm your child's physical and mental development. Therefore, it is better to make baby food and solids at home. We've tried our best to make you aware of the disadvantages of store-bought baby food but the rest depends on you!

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