Currently there are many commercial instant baby porridge with various flavors. This certainly gives practicality, especially for mothers with busy schedules. However, what about the nutritional content and safety of commercial instant baby porridge compared to homemade baby porridge?
Entering the age of six months, babies must be introduced to solid food, because breast milk alone is not enough to meet the nutritional needs of the baby. For starters, give your child solid food that has been crushed to a fine ( puree ) or baby porridge. As you get older, you can make baby porridge with a thicker and denser texture.
Now, instant baby pulp products are available in a variety of variants and textures. The advantages of this product are practical and easy to make, so it can save time. But there is an assumption that instant baby porridge is less healthy because it contains flavor enhancers and preservatives. Is that right?
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Pros and Cons of Instant Baby Porridge
Both instant baby porridge and homemade baby porridge have pros and cons. However, don’t look at one eye for commercial instant baby porridge.
Based on information from the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI), instant baby porridge is made based on special provisions from the World Health Organization (WHO). Every instant porridge made in the factory must meet hygiene, nutrition and safety standards.
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Here is a row of positive considerations in choosing instant baby porridge, namely:
As babies get older, baby’s nutritional needs also increase. As an illustration, babies aged six months or more need iron 11 mg/day. Meanwhile, breast milk can only meet iron about 2 mg, so the rest must be obtained from solid food.
If assumed, Little One should consume almost half a kilogram of beef to meet daily iron needs, while eating capacity is still small. For this reason, giving fortified instant baby porridge (already added vitamins and minerals ) can help meet the baby’s daily nutritional needs.
- Practical and easy to make
Instant baby porridge which is generally on the market in the form of instant powder, biscuits, ready to cook, and ready to eat. Of course its existence makes it easy for mothers who do not have much time to cook.
- There are nutritional labels
, commercial instant baby porridge, usually include nutritional tables on the packaging. This makes it easier for mothers to know the nutritional content of the product and compare it with the nutritional needs of children.
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The concerns of mothers in providing instant baby porridge include:
- Potential loss of nutrients
Commercial instant baby porridge has the potential to lose important nutrients during processing. For example, the sterilization process to eliminate bacteria that can also reduce the content of vitamins and minerals in instant baby porridge.
- Artificial preservatives, flavorings and dyes
Based on applicable regulations, commercial instant baby porridge should contain preservatives that are safe for babies. But you can still choose baby porridge without preservatives, flavorings, and artificial coloring. Currently there are also many instant porridges made from organic ingredients. Organic food is grown or cultivated without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides . Giving baby organic instant porridge can avoid it from exposure to these substances.
- High sugar and salt
Under one year of age, Little food should be given as little sugar and salt as possible, or even sugar and salt not added at all. Based on WHO recommendations, both children and adults should only get 10% of daily calorie needs from sugar. Therefore, instant baby porridge with 10% more calories from sugar is classified as a product that has a high sugar content.
Pros and Cons of Homemade Baby Porridge
Many mothers decide to make their own MPASI for the following reasons:
- More assured
By making your own baby porridge at home, you can be more selective in determining ingredients, how to process, and also experiment with taste. This makes homemade baby porridge more secure, although commercial instant porridge hygiene standards are far more stringent than most processed foods.
- Familiarize your little one with eating the
Mother’s family menu to make baby porridge with the same ingredients as the family food menu at home. For example, if the family food menu is spinach, then you can blend spinach, corn, and rice for your little one. This method makes the baby accustomed to eating family menus, making it easier for him to adapt if he has not eaten in the form of baby porridge.
But homemade baby porridge also has disadvantages in terms of practicality. In addition, the following things also need to be considered:
- How to cook properly
The wrong way to cook baby porridge can result in loss of nutrition in baby porridge. Steaming and grilling can keep nutrition better than boiling.
- Duration of material storage
When making baby porridge there are excess ingredients, do not keep the rest too long in the refrigerator. This action can make bacteria grow so that it is not safe for the little one to consume.
Currently, there are also many homemade baby porridge that are traded. However, there is no guarantee whether the manufacturing process is hygienic, so the Mother must be careful before buying.
Mother also should not depend too much on commercial instant baby porridge. Balance your baby’s nutritional intake by providing other nutritious foods, such as eggs, milk , meat, vegetables, and fresh fruits.