Ever wondered how a packet, jar or pouch of fruit/vegetable/meat/fish is able to sit on an unrefrigerated shelf for up to 18 months without going rotten? Me too.
Even if it doesn't contain artificial preservatives (and some do), a lot of manufactured baby food has been 'ultra heat-treated'...cooked to temperatures way higher than you'd ever cook food in your own kitchen. Why? If you heat a food product high enough you'll kill the bacteria that would make it go rotten...but you'll also damage, degrade or destroy nutrients and change the composition and taste of the food.
That's how come you can buy a container of apple puree made from apples that could have been picked, peeled and processed before your weaning baby was even conceived. And pay more for it than a whole bag of fresh apples stacked a couple of supermarket aisles away.
Of course the product will be safe to eat (baby food has to pass safety tests) but it might not be as fresh and nutritious as you'd hoped.
I'm as real as you are babe, I know what it's like juggling a baby, a job, family, and something resembling a social life (What? Hahaha). All I'm suggesting is that we put manufactured baby food in its place: as convenience food to help out in a bind, not the staples of an everyday weaning diet. Next time you're out shopping take a sec to really examine the labels of a few manufactured baby food products. If you're not particularly wowed by what you see then detour to the fruit/veg/fish/meat aisle and pick up some raw ingredients instead. I'll show you what to do with them. It's quick and easy I promise.
And it's fun.