Fresh, canned or frozen vegetables?

I have decided to try to prepare most of my baby's food myself to save money. Would it be best to use frozen vegetables (without preservatives), canned vegetables (without added sugar or salt) or fresh vegetables?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

If you can be sure that the fresh vegetables are indeed fresh, then that would be the most nutritious choice. The longer a 'fresh' vegetable sits in the store or on the farm stand the less nutritious it becomes, however, frozen food processors process their vegetables as soon as they are trucked in off the field, thus preserving most of their vitamins.

Studies have shown frozen foods to be more nutritious than fresh food when the fresh foods have been allowed to sit for an extended period. Therefore, unless you have fresh picked the vegetables from your garden or you have bought them at your local farmer's market where you know they have not been long out of the field, you are probably better off to make baby food from the frozen variety.

Canned vegetables are the least nutritious because of the extensive heating process they have been exposed to order to process them safely in cans.

The most nutritious way for you to process the vegetables is in the microwave, including the cooking water in with the puree. Second best is steaming, again, using the cooking water in the pureeing process, and finally, boiling the vegetables.

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