We at PRK want to help educate parents on the choices of baby food found at stores.
We want parents to be informed to make the best choices for their baby because
only you can determine what is best to feed your child. As new baby food
products hit the store shelves it is important for parents to evaluate not only
what the food is made of but what exactly is its container made of? Today we
begin a blog series on the various types of baby food, bottles and formula
available. As a new parent there are so many stresses about what to feed your
baby so I am hoping a little information will go a long way.
A product that is making strides is the square Gerber Puree baby food line. Read below for a
breakdown of the pros and cons of this product.
This baby food promises to be made of “gentle ingredients ideal for your baby’s first
tastes.” It comes in 1st and 2nd stages and also offers
an organic variety. Gerber Nature Select 1st foods are for when your
baby is ready to progress beyond cereal. This food line introduces fruits and
vegetables and has a very smooth texture. They are an excellent source of
protective antioxidant Vitamin C. The Gerber Nature Select 2nd Foods
are made with 100% natural fruit with no added sugar, salt or artificial
flavor. The Gerber Organic Smart Nourish foods are made with USDA certified
fruit purees and help baby discover the natural taste of fruit.
The square packaging is a unique take on the standard glass jar. This square
container is made of non-polycarbonate plastic and is BPA-free. This product is
considered safe for babies and is a great alternative to glass jars in certain
situations, such as packing a diaper bag for the beach.
The downfalls to this line of baby food are few but serious. Take note that this
food has to be refrigerated once opened, only last two days after opening and
have had some trouble with broken seals. Do not use if the foil seal has
been broken. Also, do not microwave this plastic container. Gerber says
their puree containers do not contain BPA but as a general rule, do
not put very hot or boiling liquid that you intend to consume in plastic
containers made with BPA (Bisphenol A). BPA levels rise in food when
containers/products made with the chemical are heated and come in contact with
“BPA, is a chemical that is found in plastic packaging
items, such as food storage containers, baby bottles and water coolers. Studies
show that exposure to the chemical can affect the development of fetuses and
children. One of the ways to avoid BPA is to start buying and storing food
items in glass packaging rather than plastic. Because it is a 100% pure
material, glass can protect food products' flavor and smell, preserve the shelf
life of the food contents, and will not leach chemicals into the food when
heated in the microwave (hpcorporategroup.com, 2011).”
“The concern for plastic chemicals leaching into foods is
heightened when the plastic is heated — regardless of the plastic type. Jarred
or canned food is typically heated during the canning process. So, the risk is
already there before it’s on the store shelves. If you heat leftover baby food
in this container, you are again increasing the risk for leaching (amomsblog.worldpress.com, 2007).”
There will always be some questioning over the plastic material that makes up the
container. As a general rule you should avoid any plastic containers that have
the numbers 3, 6 or 7 on the bottom. This often means they contain BPA. “Gerber
baby food plastic containers are made with #1
(Polyethylene or PET) and #6 (Polystyrene or PS) layered plastic, according to
Gerber reps. The inner layer is Polyethylene and the outer layer is the
Polystyrene. Gerber assures that no food comes in contact with Polystyrene in
the packaging and they have said this packaging is 100% BPA Free. Plastic
containers have recycle codes on the bottom. In general, plastics that are
marked with recycle codes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are very unlikely to contain BPA.
Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be
made with BPA (safemama.com,
Gerber provides a very helpful hotline at 1-800-284-9488 if you have questions about
your little one’s nutrition. At PRK we encourage you to research multiple baby food options before determining
what is best. There are many great food options available today but not every
product is right for you. Only you know what is best for your baby.
If you do choose to buy Gerber’s Puree products, the PRK Universal Baby Food Jar Storage
& Organizer holds up to 12 square containers, in four rows. Keeping your
cupboard clean and organized!
Safemama.com, ehow.com, amomsblog.wordpress.com, glassislife.com, hpcorporategroup.com