Frozen & Canned Food: Is it an Absolute No?

42-18288189Fresh foods are always the best when it comes to cooking for your babies and toddlers. But there are times when frozen and canned foods come handy. Some fruits and vegetables are not always in season or even not easily accessible on our country. There are also times when buying a whole tuna or uncooked one seemed too tedious. In times like these, I’m always thankful for the availability of processed foods.

Some processed foods, such as vegetables and fruits are said to be able to retain the nutrient they have when they were harvested. This is because they were frozen or canned within hours of their harvest. In the case of canned fish, such as tuna or salmon that comes from further part of the ocean, it becomes expensive on our part of the world to buy fresh one. Therefore, when you’re only cooking for your kids or you only have so little amount, I found it very useful to just settle for the canned version.

What you should notice is that, the longer the foods are frozen and canned, the more the nutrient diminishes. Therefore, when buying processed foods you should always find those which produce more recent. Canned foods are also famous of high in salt and sugar, so never forget to read the ingredient list. It is advisable to avid fruits that are canned with syrup instead of their natural juice because they’re high in sugar.

Among many, these are the processed foods that I can’t live without:

  • Frozen peas, just because I rarely, if not never, seen them fresh
  • Frozen mixed vegetables, to give more variety to your kids dishes
  • Canned tuna and salmon
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Good quality pasta sauces that are low in salt and free of any trace of alcohol
  • Peanut butter, cream cheese and sour cream or whipped and thick cream

If you happened to (luckily) find frozen berries you better stock on them, because berries are famous to be good antioxidants. It also give variety of taste to your kids palate.

I could not end this post without reiterating that even though processed foods are easy and in my dictionary are not an absolute no, but fresh food whenever possible are still the best for your loved ones.

So mommies, what are your (guilty as charged) favorite processed food?

*Image courtesy of pro.corbis.com


23 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Kalo keju, yoghurt, froyo, termasuk processed food gak, Mal? Oke, di beberapa milis dan if you want to google, memang tersedia resep-resep untuk bikin yoghurt, froyo dan keju sendiri. Tapi koq ya gue belum segitu meleteknya di dapur buat bikin sendiri makanan-makanan tadi. Jadilah gue selalu beli ketiga jenis makanan itu di supermarket (eh kalo froyo mah belinya di gerai-gerai di mal), buat anak gue.

    But still, I have my own boundaries in choosing which ones I should buy. Untuk yoghurt, karena Nadira blm 1 tahun, gue belinya yang plain dan komposisinya harus terdiri atas fresh milk dan bakteri pembuat yoghurtnya, tanpa zat-zat additive lainnya. Kalo mau dimakan, tinggal dicampur dgn puree buah, pure sayur atau pernah gue kasih sbg ‘vla’ agar2 buah. Untuk keju, gue mencoba pilih yg garamnya gak terlalu tinggi. Sementara froyo, untunglah gue pernah wwcr bbrp pemilik gerai froyo di Indonesia, jadi gue kira-kira tau, froyo mana yg cukup sehat, dan mana yg pake gula buatan, pengawet, dan zat2 lainnya. Mudah2an sih besok2 bisa lebih rajin utk bikin froyo sendiri :-)

    Sorry jd kepanjangan nih comment gue :-p

  2. For me, it is strictly no can foods. Even for fish. You can make your own Frozen food and maintain the nutrients in it. I can only shop twice a month at c4/ranch/farmersmarket/local supermaket (poor working mom has no time to shop at traditional markets daily). So, what I do is buy a pack of broccoli, carrots, potatoes, fishes, chickens, meats, and all sort of stuffs. Cook it, blanch it, steam it, bake it, do wotever with it, just COOK it, then freeze it. There you go. A homemade frozen foods. :D

    For raw fish, shrimps, squid, chicken and meats, divide it per portion of cook, let’s say 50 grams each and put it in a small Ziploc, label it. Put in a Large Ziploc to separate between fish, chicks and meats. There you go, you a stock of meats.

    Mixed Vegetables such as peas, corn and carrots that comes in one bag is always acceptable, but to make your own freeze carrots and corn are better. You can even blanch broccolis and freeze it.
    cheers.

  3. aaah…
    ira & yenny…
    same with me here.
    yay to frozen homemade food. yay to certain processed food (yoghurt, cheese, froyo).
    and in my baby’s case..nay to canned food.

    udah begini juga masih sering diprotes sana – sini karena kasih frozeen puree or vegie sama orang2 sekitar. *sigh* sama dengan yenny, gw ga mungkin tiap hari ke pasar tradisional. bisa curi2 waktu ke swalayan seminggu sekali aja dah sukur. at least my baby masih makan homemade food.

  4. Nisha, kalo gak salah gue pernah liat fresh peas di Total, Ranch Market, Food Hall gitu deh. Di-pak dalam plastik, jd kayak leunca yg bisa buat oncom itu lho, hihihihi.. *Sunda pisan euy*

    Tapi utk peas, yg frozen mah, IMHO, gpp koq. Asal jgn yg canned ya, krn kandungan gizinya jauh lebih sedikit ketimbang yg frozen, plus udah pake pengawet, cmiiw. Gue jg gak terlalu masalah sm frozen vegetable yg ada di SPM sih. Tapi so far blm pernah nyoba krn selalu beli sayuran aslinya.

  5. Fresh peas biasanya ada di tukang sayur di dalam pasar. Coba ke pasar moderen, kadang di premium groceries juga ada kok.

    Ada yang sudah di kupas, ada juga yang masih dalam ‘kantong’nya. Pokoknya never give canned food for babies… Kalo superdarurot dan nggak ada cara lain, baru deh bisa dipertimbangkan.

  6. Anakku, baru 6 bulan, jadi belum mencoba makanan aneh2… baru pure buah dan bubur susu… dan saya juga anti banget sama canned food or vegetables. Sekarang aja MP ASI home made. Sesibuk apa pun seminggu sekali wajib beli buah2an dan sayuran segar di swalayan. Apa pun buat anak, kesibukan yang lain pasti nomor 2….

  7. Amal, gw menyetok frozen brocolli, mixed veggie, and frozen peas just in case ga sempat belanja. gw belanja setiap 3 hari sekali kalo rajin, or seminggu sekali kalo lg ga sempat. For me masih ga papa lah frozen brocolli, mixed veggie, frozen peas and keju babybel, soale kalo makanan terlalu dijaga, takut nantinya jadi picky eater dan gampang sakit perut/diare.

  8. DesZeLL

    Ladies, thanks for all the comments and useful insight. I think this will all help other moms too.

    Ran, couldnt agree more. Tried to give Raysa all kinds of food so she’s not picky. Buktinya kecuali makanan yang jelas gak enak dia makan apa ajah mau skarang. Saking gampangnya makannya gak bisa distop sampe gue pusing sendiri ngasi dia makan.

  9. *oh nyerah sama urusan masak memasak…*

    tapi alhamdulillah dibawah setahun langit selalu makan masakan sendiri. diatas setahun baru menggila, hehehe…
    tapi tetap gw batesin tidak cokelat, tidak mecin2an/ msg, junk food.
    camilan, diusahakan buatan sendiri. kalopun jajanan, palingan biskuit yang ga ada rasa2nya spt regal, monde yang bola, atau nissin yang bentuk tongkat.
    kalo sayuran frozen, iya gw nyetok juga tiap belanja bulanan, in case ketinggalan abang2 tukang sayur yang suka lewat..

  10. yes, Rance, I heart your last sentence.

    lagipula (terutama pas anak mulai sekolah dan liat makanan temennya), pasti makin minta makanan2 ga jelas dah. nah saat itu gue mending beliin (otomatis melewati sensor gue macem apa si jajanan), makan dirumah dengan batasan (misal sehari sekali abis makan). ketimbang entar nyolong2 di belakang gue tapi minta2 temennya dan gue malah ga bisa batesin seberapa banyak dan macem apa aja yg dia makan.

  11. Kemarenan gw sempet beli frozen mix vegetables buat di tumis untuk lunch anak sulung gw di sekolah….tapiiii ternyata anak gw kagak suka :(( dia bilang aku gak suka tumisan bunda…mau di bikinin capcay ajah which is from fresh vegetables…

    Pun begitu juga dengan canned product…dia gak suka sama sekali…prefer yang fresh…Peer banged kan…:) but i have no complain at all :p

  12. I think a while a go there was articel similar to this one on Yahoo, if I’m not mistaken. As per the articel mentioned, actually, contrary to our beliefs, frozen ‘fresh’ fruits & vegetables sometimes better than the ‘fresh’ ones. Especially during the summer time, most fruits & vegetables here (where I live) travels a great long distance from Mexico, Chili, etc to my local market. In hot summer weather if the fresh fruits or veggies weren’t packed/stored the right way, those vitamins & the nutrients we need from them wouldn’t be much left. There are local grown ones too, or Organic for instance, but the prices are not that friendly as we all know. And from what I read, it’s not necessary to buy all organics, depend on fruits or veggies. Unless you have the budget to do so.

    So, in short.. yess, I stocked up canned & frozen ‘fresh’ vegetables (plain, no extra spices, sauce etc), especially the ones that I don’t find in the fresh ones.

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