Baby food: small pot + homemade = the winning mix

Baby food: Yes to homemade!

Baby food has always been a subject touchy. The fear of doing badly, of giving too much or not enough, the lack of time, of inspiration… remain at the heart of mothers’ concerns, especially for their first baby. Especially since the recommendations are constantly evolving. And if the solutionto reassure and relieve them, and even guilt, was none other thana mix of homemade and baby jars ?

Homemade has never lost its popularity. Normal, when you list all its benefits: quality and freshness of products, natural side, superior nutritional values, origin of ingredients… to name but a few. The proof: according to the consumer study conducted for Bledina every four years, 9 out of 10 mums cook for their baby and 66% do it every day. But aside, almost 40% of mothers find that it is not always easy to give their child a varied and balanced diet every day, and 70% admit to being quickly out of ideas… For cooking, this what is needed first is time. Not always easy to find in our lives working mums. Unsurprisingly, many parents admit to preferring to use the potty to enjoy time with their baby, rather than “wasting their time” in the kitchen. And these are the studies that say so, such as that of the Deloitte firm on child nutrition, carried out in June 2013. So yes, the potty saves time, but it also reassures, given their very strict supervision taking take into account the nutritional needs of the toddler. In addition, the prepared meals allow you to taste seasonal fruits and vegetables that are not always easy to cook, or even to find in the supermarket. Saving time, practicality, ease: OK, we validate.

The benefits of baby food jars

As you can imagine, the image of small pots is not always rosy: according to the same Deloitte study, 82% of parents regret their “standard” taste compared to homemade preparations, and 72% emphasize the lack of originality of the recipes… So, to meet parents’ expectations, brands have started to develop recipes reminiscent of this famous “home-made”, such as the products Natures from Nestlewhich respond to the parents’ request for “naturalness”, or even the Ideas from Blédina’s mum to the ambient radius and Bledina of the day, in the fresh section. More recently, the brand organic Yooji offers parents a new way to prepare varied and personalized meals thanks to portionable 20 gram frozen cookies, easy to dose, mix and reheat, with flavors close to home-made. Okay, one more point. But there remains a problem that we cannot escape when it comes to baby food: guilt. What mother has never had remorse, unfounded, to give a potty for her baby ?

Baby-food: the winning mix

Because each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, why not do one with the other? Combining the two means keeping a share of home-made, but using a commercial product (which serves as a base). A small jar of carrot purée (heated), for example, accompanied by fresh button mushrooms (mixed), a small jar of pea purée, served with homemade risotto… A mix that saves us time with Baby and as a family, validated nutritional value and dosage… Baby eats like his brothers and sisters (risotto is for everyone!). Once again, the emphasis is on practicality. 73% of multiparous mothers (and 65% of primiparas) feed baby at the same time as the rest of the family. As for the sociologists, they do not fail to underline the importance and the interest of the meals taken all together in a serene atmosphere, which must remain a moment of exchange and shared pleasure.

This trend, Grégory Dubourg, nutrition engineer who participated in the launch of Yooji, compares it to the “Ikea” side. Parents want convenient products for baby food – including: ready-to-eat meals – but taking care of the very last processing phase yourself (as long as it is kept simple) adds to their great emotional value. And this affective and emotional value, parents need it: this last personal touch, this little side “it’s me who did it”, plays a lot on guilt. “With Yooji, parents can create their own recipe by mixing different pebbles or combining them with homemade products”.

Baby-food: on the parents’ side

Marks obviously did not fail to take the turn of this news baby food trend. Their objective ? Supporting young parents to meet their taste awareness expectations, and giving them the keys to a varied and balanced baby diet. Books, competitions, events, culinary workshops for parents, specific products, advice and recipes available online, hotline… Everything is planned, it’s up to you!

Nestlé’s P’tit Resto

In March 2014, Nestlé launched the first pop-up P’tit Resto 100% for babies aged 6 to 36 months. A chef, Jean-Baptiste Thiveaud, offered parents original recipes based on fresh produce and Nestlé Bébé products. The parents left with lots of ideas in mind and the babies (more than 300 in 6 days!), satiated. But Nestlé was not at its first attempt in the baby food category. “Les minis” from P’tit Pot, for example, are packaged in ideal portions to easily enter into the composition of homemade recipes… And if you’re out of ideas, you pick some from the 30 cult recipes, imagined by Jenny Carenco, specialist in baby food, combining Nestlé products and personal touches. Available in bookstores at a mini-price (€3.50).

Interview with chef Jean-Baptiste Thiveaud

Chef Jean-Baptiste Thiveaud carefully prepares the recipes of Le P’tit Resto de Nesté. He tells us about his adventure, and gives his professional advice to active moms.

“It was my personal experience that pushed me to try the adventure of the P’tit Resto Nestlé: when my children were very young, I bought small jars. Which was all the same a shame, with my professional background… So I started making my own pots. So, I made associations that already existed, and my personal recipes. Above all, don’t blame yourself. Pleasing your family is much more complicated than pleasing customers! Of course, 100% homemade can be enough, but for that, you need time. And with our lives as city dwellers, active parents with a busy social life, it’s not easy. I have an exciting but very demanding job. I have children and I take them on. Even though I work a lot, I have to participate in family life. So on Sunday, I prepare the meals for the whole week and my wife only has to heat them up. It saves him time, and it allows me to be there a little, with my children, in the evening. My advice: if you have a favorite recipe, make it without seasoning it, and share it with your baby (in mixed form, if he is very young). Excluding allergenic products, there are no medical contraindications for the majority of products. This is the shared pleasure.”

Baby-food: Jean-Baptiste Thiveaud’s express recipe

An express recipe for mums in a hurry by Jean-Baptiste Thiveaud

“Spinach is tricky for kids to eat. They go very well with rice, which is ready in 20 minutes. Rice and ham, it’s a bit sad. Rice and ham, with a small pot of spinach, is a little better. And if in addition, we divert the products to make the plate more playful and prettier, that’s the best: we put the rice in a dome on the plate, we make 4 legs to this white dome of rice, a circle of ham, and you end up with a small sheep. This sheep, we make it walk on the lawn, formed by spinach. Your children will eat everything”.

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