Q: Can I use jarred baby food in place of the purees to save time?
JS: It is my belief that freshly made purees have the most nutrients and flavor. However, we all have days when we're short on time. I admit that I have tried jarred baby food in my chicken nuggets and they came out great! As for baked goods, I have made delicious brownies with jarred carrots as well as a combo of spinach and potato (plain spinach is hard to find).
That being said, if you plan to use jarred baby food, it's important to experiment and be selective. I consulted nutritionist Joy Bauer, who found that some brands thin out their purees with small amounts of water, making them too thin to swap evenly for the homemade versions. This can affect the consistency of the recipes. If you are adamant about using baby food, make sure to check labels carefully to be sure that water was not added. Also, try sticking to brands that don't add sugar or preservatives.
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Published on January 15, 2006