Millenial parents exploring new baby food
As someone who thinks a lot about how society eats but doesn’t have kids, I can only imagine that now would be an overwhelming time to be a new parent. When we talk about what to eat, the conversation today encompasses not only our own health and nutrition but the well-being of the planet and other animals, too. Now take all of that and apply it to feeding the tiny human you’re responsible for? Parents today have a complicated job.
For decades, “baby food” conjured, for the most part, one image: jars of pureed fruits and vegetables that parents could simply pop open and feed to infants. That, plus a handful of other pre-made, packaged foods are what come to mind if you haven’t had to think about feeding a baby anytime recently, or ever.
But like most items on grocery shelves, baby food is being seriously re-evaluated in recent years. While those jars of mush may at first glance seem like inherently healthy blends of fruits and vegetables, that isn’t exactly the case. Many are actually blends of fruit or veggie concentrate and water, which results in the food having more sugar and sodium than an actual puree of that same fruit or vegetable. That, in addition to concerns about low fiber, less-than-ideal nutrition, the presence of heavy metals, and exposure to pesticides in non-organic foods, is causing a significant movement away from buying pre-made baby food altogether. In the last decade alone, American spending on baby food has dropped dramatically, and there’s a growing emphasis on making baby food at home.
From pesticides and additives to questions around sustainability, millennial parents have a lot to think about. And that’s all on top of the age-old concerns of how to keep your little one as healthy, engaged, and well-cared-for as can be. Considering that millennials have been called the “anxious generation,” it’s little surprise that many new parents today are pulling out all the stops to try to raise their kids well. And it’s even less of a surprise that 58% of millennial parents say they’re finding all of the information out there to be overwhelming, according to a survey by Time magazine. As Farrah Alexander wrote in an essay on the parenting website Scary Mommy, conflicting and sometimes judgmental advice on parenting hits the millennial mom from all directions nowadays – books, stores, the internet, other parents – and the wealth of information often feels “crushing.” “I would rather spend my few precious moments of free time listening to Caillou’s incessant whining than someone summarizing all the ways millennial parents are screwing up their kids,” she writes…Read more…