Mom vs. Mom: Baby Food
Is homemade worth the hassle?
If in the 70s baby formula was king, today we have rediscovered the value of breastfeeding. In the 90s, it was advised that babies should sleep on their stomachs, but now we’re told to place them on their backs at all costs. Sometimes even parenting seems to be ruled by fads and trends. What to feed kids is no exception, especially when it comes to babies: is it better to go with processed baby foods à la Gerber or freshly made meals?
Actress Alessandra Fel, who owns the TeatrAlta Lab theatre school and lives between London and Italy, has no doubts when it comes to feeding her 10-month-old, Emma. “In England if you don’t feed your kids organic baby food (which is always filled with preservatives) they make you feel like an unfit mother. I played along at first, but when I went back to Italy my grandmother helped me prepare fresh meals for her. I immediately saw results; she was visibly healthier and happier!” Pediatrician Marco Gucci, who published a book in Italy to teach moms the value of simple, home-cooked meals for kids, agrees: “Baby food should be considered a last resort, for situations when it's difficult to prepare meals yourself. In general, it’s best to prepare seasonal meals and it’s not true that ingredients in ready-made foods are controlled and safer. Just make sure to buy local to ensure quality and freshness."
But what if you just can’t cut it in the kitchen? “It’s an opportunity to learn something new,” explains Dr. Gucci, “Just make sure you’re preparing balanced meals that include carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.” Basically: All hail the Mediterranean diet, even if you live on the other side of the ocean! Alessandra wholeheartedly agrees, “I sort of knew how to cook, but I was definitely intimidated at first. I got organized and learned and Emma is much happier for it.” —Veronica Russo