Is homemade baby food always the best?

Is homemade baby food always the best?

Welcome, and welcome back!

Welcome to our new-look blog!  We’ve got a lot of information to share so our plan is to update our blog at least once a month.  If you have any questions, we’re happy to answer them via our blog as they’re likely to be relevant to others as well.  We won’t use your name, unless you give us permission.

We’re getting out into the community, attending expos and offering tastings of Tummy Thyme products.  We would love to meet you so if you’re around, come and say g’day!  You’ll find the information in our blog.

Also, keep an eye out for specials and promotions.  We plan on doing more of these as we expand our product range. 

We would love to get your feedback.  We want our blog to be a conversation because we all have a shared interest in and love for our children.  And food is one of the great ways to meet!

There will be something for everyone in Talking Tummy Thyme! 


Talia, Jono & Mayani


Is homemade baby food always the best? 

Having spoken to many people since we started Tummy Thyme, there is one question that pops up more than any other:  Are the ingredients in commercially-available baby food harmful to my child? 

To begin with, we know that the big PLUS when you buy baby food from the grocery store or supermarket is the convenience.  New parents are ALWAYS time poor, so anything that can make life easier is something to be valued.  We get that, and as new parents ourselves we understand that juggling time is the defining issue common to almost every parent we know.

Food sold commercially in the United States must comply with very rigorous government standards, and the penalty for breaching those standards can be severe.   But shelf-stable products can contain additives or be subject to processes such as extreme heat that keep the food ‘healthy’ for human consumption.  It is not unusual for a jar or pouch to have been manufactured two years before it reaches the supermarket shelf.   

The reason we created Tummy Thyme was to avoid any additives or processes that can potentially cause issues for our daughter, especially in the critically-important formative years when foods other than breast milk or formula are gradually introduced into her diet. 

One of the most compelling reasons to prepare your own food is because YOU know exactly what you’re feeding your baby.  You can choose which fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and spices are used, instead of relying on flavors chosen by manufacturers.

As one author* commented in an online posting:  “You’re not going to find melons or avocados in the baby food section of the supermarket.” 

One of the parents quoted in that posting said:  “What sealed the deal for me was finding out that jarred food is cooked at extremely high temperatures to kill bacteria for longer storage, at the same time taking out many of the food's vitamins and nutrients and taste.” 

So it’s a no-brainer, right?  Well, no.  It’s not that simple.  Many parents have tried to make their own baby food but the time involved, the cost and other factors can play a hand.  Here’s why: 

  • Commercially-made food can benefit from economies of scale; in other words, costs are kept low because they purchase everything in bulk.
  • It takes time to make and prepare lots of little servings of homemade baby food. It’s much faster to pick up pre-packaged servings.
  • Pre-packaged baby foods come in measured amounts and are ready to serve.
  • Homemade baby foods can spoil more quickly and require refrigeration, which may take up room in the fridge or freezer if lots of servings are made ahead of time. Pre-packaged baby foods don’t need refrigerator storage until they’re opened.

Tummy Thyme is homemade baby food that we make for our daughter. Because of the interest from other parents we met at our Mommy and Me groups, the idea flourished – first, by making food for a handful of others and now, for many others!  But at its heart, nothing has changed: Tummy Thyme baby food is still prepared in the same way as we did in our home kitchen, and it retains the same values that we were so important for us as new parents.


Meet Jayden

Jayden recently celebrated his 1st birthday.  His parents, Neville and Sonia, started their Tummy Thyme journey when Jayden was eight months old.

“We were feeding Jayden store bought foods as both my husband and I are working.  We were never really comfortable with that and wanted to introduce healthier options, even just to supplement his diet.  Then we discovered Tummy Thyme!  Wow, what a difference that’s made for us and for our son.  At least now we know he’s getting healthy, additive-free food that looks good enough for us to eat!”

How to introduce solids 

Lifelong eating habits are created in the first few years of life.  These early experiences with food help to set up your child for good eating habits throughout their life.  

A common question that parents ask is: When is my baby ready for solids?

Up until your baby’s first birthday, breast milk, formula or a combination of the two is their main source of nutrition.  Somewhere between 4-6 months your baby will be ready to start solids, a major milestone!!  Initially food exploration is just for fun and may be a slow process. Be guided by your baby’s cues and the advice of your care provider. 

*If your baby doesn’t seem interested in certain foods, don’t be disheartened. Research shows it can take a baby up to 15 times of trying a food before we can be certain if they like it or not.  

Cues your baby is ready to start solids:

Your baby should have good head control and be able to sit on his/her own

Your baby watches you eat, reaches for your food and opens his/her mouth when offered food

Your baby is able to swallow food.  If the food dribbles straight out of the baby’s mouth, you may need to wait another week or two.  Then try again.

How do I feed my baby?

Let the fun (and mess) begin!

Start by offering a couple of spoonfuls of puree to your baby (you may wish to mix some breast milk or formula to thin the mixture)

If your baby doesn’t seem interested or cries, try again at a later date.  They may not be quite ready

Always remember to try the food first to make sure that it’s not too hot.

What order do I introduce foods?

Some pediatricians recommend beginning with infant rice cereals, others recommend beginning with vegetable or fruit purees

Introduce one new food at a time and repeat that same singular item for a few days (within a few months your baby’s diet should include a variety of vegetables, fruits, meat and fish, eggs as well as breast milk and/or formula)

Avoid juice until your baby is at least 12 months old to prevent tooth decay, unnecessary weight gain, diaper rash and possible diarrhea 

Do not give your baby any foods that require chewing as this is a choking hazard

Once you have introduced a variety of singular ingredients, get creative and make different combinations

Fresh or pre-made pouches and jars?

Fresh = is healthier and more nutritious

Cook fresh vegetables and fruit until they are soft and then use a blender, food processor or fork

Avoid adding salt or seasoning

Fresh spoils more easily, so make sure to refrigerate

What do I need? 

High chair, bib, plastic bowl, plastic spoon and a washcloth!

A great place to start?

4-6 months - rice, barley, oats, apples, avocado, banana, pears, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans 

6-8 months - carrots, peas, zucchini, parsnips, chicken, turkey, tofu, plain whole milk yoghurt

8-10 months - kamut, quinoa, millet, blueberries, cherries, figs, grapes, kiwi, papaya, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, onions, peppers, leeks, mushrooms, pasteurized cheese (no soft cheese)

10-12 months - berries, citrus, artichokes, beets, corn, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, fish

Different methods of preparation: steaming, boiling, stewing and roasting

If you have any questions about your child's nutrition, including concerns about your child eating too much or too little, talk with your child's doctor.  You can also go online and find more information on the American Association of Pediatrics website

We have 6 Tummy Thyme Tester Packs to Give Away!

Got any interesting food combinations you think we would like?  Let us know and we’ll select the six best suggestions and we’ll send the winners a Tummy Thyme Tester Pack valued at $54 incl. delivery (in the Greater Los Angeles area only).

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