Baby Food Diet - Fad or Fab?

Studio shot of baby food in jars
Vstock LLC / Getty Images

The baby food diet centers around the idea of eating small jars of baby food as a way to control caloric intake. Some dieters eat a few jars of baby food each day as low-calorie snacks, and others use baby food to replace one or two meals per day.

Is it safe? Does it work?

As long as you take in enough calories and nutrients, it's probably safe to follow the diet plan, but probably not for every meal.

Eating jars of baby food as snacks as an occasional meal replacement or snack might be okay, but you still need to get a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet and it's tough to do that if you're not eating enough food.

So, essentially the baby food diet is a low-calorie diet and just like any other low-calorie diet, as long as you decrease the number of calories you eat every day, you should lose weight. But there's nothing special about the ingredients -- the fact that you're eating baby food instead of small portions of adult food doesn't make any difference.

The main reason this diet might work is because baby food jars and packages are small, so they automatically help you control portions. They may also be convenient to carry with you as opposed to bulkier, perishable fresh fruits and vegetables, or other healthier snacks.

Baby foods tend to be low in fat and may be low in sugar, but eating this way is expensive because you're paying for each little.

And when you're done, you have a lot of little glass jars or plastic containers to throw out or recycle.

Some followers of the baby food diet believe that baby foods are healthier because they don't contain food additives. But that's not true for a couple of reasons. First, while some baby foods are organic, many contain food additives or are made with conventionally grown foods.

And organic foods aren't more nutritious than conventionally grown foods and don't make a difference as far as weight loss.

But I Want to Try the Baby Food Diet

We remember feeding baby food to our kids when they were little, and frankly, that stuff just isn't appealing at all -- plus, it's easier to curb your appetite with fresh high-fiber fruits and vegetables. But if this diet is for you, here are some thoughts to keep in mind:

  • Always speak to your health care provider before going on a low-calorie diet.
  • Read the labels for calorie counts and nutritional content to make sure you get the right number of calories.
  • Eat at least one -- preferably two -- balanced adult meals each day.
  • Choose a variety of baby foods to get more fruits, vegetables, and protein.

You can make your own version of the baby food diet (and save money) by cooking and pureeing a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and portioning them into small containers. You can freeze your purees in an ice cube tray and transfer them to small freezer bags for long-term storage.

But you probably won't need to keep them around all that long.

The baby food diet is probably going to be a short-term crash diet, and whatever weight you lose will probably come back when you return to your regular eating habits. The best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is by eating a balanced diet with the right amount of calories, and not by following any fad diet.

Continue Reading