Instant Baby Porridge or Homemade Baby Porridge, Which is Better?

Currently, there are many commercial instant baby porridge available in various flavors. This certainly provides 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 foods, because breast milk alone is not enough to meet the nutritional needs of babies. For starters, give your little one solid food that has been crushed until smooth (puree) or baby porridge. As you get older, you can make baby porridge with a thicker and denser texture.

Now, instant baby porridge products are available with various variants and textures. The advantages of this product are practical and easy to make, so it can save time. However, there is an assumption that instant baby porridge is not healthy because it contains flavor enhancers and preservatives. Is that right?

Pros and Cons of Instant Baby Porridge

Both instant baby porridge and homemade baby porridge have their pros and cons. However, don't underestimate the 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.

The following are a series of positive considerations in choosing instant baby porridge, namely:

  • Fortified

    If it is assumed, the Little One must consume almost half a kilogram of beef to meet the daily iron needs, while the ability to eat is still small. For this reason, giving fortified instant baby porridge (with added vitamins and minerals) can prevent babies from being malnourished, including iron deficiency.

  • Practical and easy to make

    Instant baby porridge which is generally circulated in the market is in the form of instant powder, biscuits, ready to cook, and ready to eat. Of course its existence makes it easy for mothers who don't have much time to cook or are busy traveling with Little One.

  • There is a nutrition label

    Commercial instant baby porridge usually includes a nutrition table on the packaging. This makes it easier for mothers to know the nutritional content of these products and compare them with the nutritional needs of children.

The concerns of mothers in giving 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 remove bacteria can also reduce the vitamin and mineral content in instant baby porridge.

  • Preservatives, flavorings and artificial colors

    Based on applicable regulations, commercial instant baby porridge should contain preservatives that are safe for babies. However, you can still choose baby porridge without artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. Currently, there are also many available organic instant porridge. Organic foodstuffs are grown or cultivated without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Giving babies organic instant porridge can prevent them from being exposed to these substances.

  • High in sugar and salt

    Under the age of one year, your child's diet should be given as little sugar and salt as possible, or even no sugar and salt added at all. Based on WHO recommendations, both children and adults should only get 10% of their daily caloric 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 secure

    By making your own baby porridge at home, you can be more selective in determining ingredients, how to process, and also experimenting with flavors. This makes homemade baby porridge more secure, although the hygiene standards of commercial instant porridge are much more stringent than conventional processed foods.

  • Getting your little one to eat the family menu

    Mothers can 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 the family menu, making it easier for him to adapt if he is not eating in the form of baby porridge.

But homemade baby porridge also has its drawbacks in terms of practicality. In addition, the following should also be noted:

  • The right way to cook

    The wrong way to cook baby porridge can result in loss of nutrients in baby porridge. Steaming and grilling retain nutrients better than boiling.

  • Material storage time

    When making baby porridge there are excess ingredients, don't keep the leftovers in the refrigerator for too long. This action can make bacteria thrive so it is not safe for your little one to eat.

Currently, there are also many homemade baby porridge for sale. However, there is no guarantee whether the manufacturing process is hygienic, so you must be careful before buying.

Mothers should also not rely too much on commercial instant baby porridge. Balance the baby's nutritional intake by providing other nutritious foods, such as eggs, milk, meat, vegetables, and fresh fruits.