The baby food diet

The Baby Food Diet

Who hasn’t tasted baby food once or twice? But have you ever thought about eating it at every meal? Proponents of a fad diet called the Baby Food Diet propose making baby food a diet staple for weight control, especially to feed cravings. It seems to have attracted Hollywood: stars like Jennifer Aniston have reportedly found success with it. However, even this fad diet’s own Web site warns that it’s not a weight-loss plan.

“What I find interesting about the diet is it’s a maintenance diet. Before you go on the Baby Food Diet, you have to go on the Fat Loss for Idiots diet to lose weight,” observes Andrea Giancoli, RD, nutrition coordinator for the Los Angeles Unified School District in California and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “Their whole point is that this is how you stay thin. Baby foods are fast foods that are convenient.”

As precious an idea as it may be to replace one to two meals a day with baby food, says Dariella Gaete, RD, owner of Eat Freely Nutrition Counseling and Consulting based in Long Beach, Calif., this is just “another unsatisfying, unrealistic diet.”

The Baby Food Diet: How Does It Work?

Portion control is an important part of diet success for anyone. Followers of the Baby Food Diet rely on the fact that baby food is already presented in small packages, which may help people monitor the amount they eat. However, there are currently no specific guidelines associated with the Baby Food Diet regarding how much baby food to eat per day. Some people may have baby food throughout the day with one large, healthy meal at dinner, while others could choose a few jars of baby food instead of meals, plus a jar at snack times.

The Baby Food Diet: Sample Diet

Just take a walk through the baby food aisle for the diet’s menu. Instead of breakfast and lunch, you might try jars of sweet potatoes, pureed fruit, and veggies, such as spinach and green beans. The Baby Food Diet Web site suggests that you try the larger jars of baby food because the food is not as refined, so it may feel more satisfying, and be sure to include baby food meat in your selections.

The Baby Food Diet: Pros

There are several benefits to the Baby Food Diet:

  • Fruits and vegetables. Baby food varieties are primarily fruits and vegetables. Snacking more on fruits and vegetables as well as increasing their proportion in the daily diet is generally a step in the right direction.
  • Portion control. For people who need help limiting the amount they eat, even of fruits and vegetables, small jars and plastic packages with limited serving sizes can be beneficial.
  • Additive-free. Baby food is generally free of the chemicals that are added to packaged foods for adults.
  • Cravings solution. Baby food could be a good answer to cravings for snacks. Something sweet? Reach for a little jar of peaches or applesauce.

The Baby Food Diet: Cons

There are several concerns about the Baby Food Diet:

  • Fiber shortfall. Women should get about 25 grams of fiber a day for optimal health. Baby food is processed and often strained, so your choices are likely lacking in fiber. Check the packaging, but it could be hard to meet your fiber goal on baby food alone.
  • Cost. Despite the overall healthiness of baby food, buying enough baby food to feed an adult every day could be costly, says Giancoli. You can make the same foods at home for less, but then you lose the built-in portion control element.
  • Not for weight loss. The diet is promoted for weight-loss maintenance, not for peeling off the pounds. In fact, says Giancoli, there is a heavily promoted, fee-based weight-loss program that is suggested for dieters to lose weight before they start the Baby Food Diet.
  • Boredom and sustainability. Yes, a healthy diet requires portion control and healthier food choices, but hunger and boredom are enemies of diet success — a risk in this diet, says Gaete. “The lack of fiber, fat, and protein will cause the food to be digested quickly, leaving the person hungry in an hour or two and susceptible to binging later,” Gaete says. “Also, baby food is very bland and there’s minimal chewing involved, so a person would be left feeling unsatisfied and craving something else.” Giancoli also doubts that it is realistic to plan on eating baby food for life. As a rule, dietitians favor creating a healthy diet and lifestyle that can be maintained with pleasure for a long time.

Fad Diet: Short- and Long-Term Effects

This is not an eating plan that has been tested in any way; there is no evidence that this diet supports weight maintenance and there is no way to know how it would affect your body over a long period of time. The Web site does not offer any research on the diet’s effectiveness, although it clearly states it is not for weight loss.

Giancoli also worries about the long-term effect of the diet on the adult digestive system. “Babies don’t have a sophisticated digestive system yet. Adults do, so we don’t need to have this predigested . Our digestive system is good at breaking down complex foods. You don’t want to give your digestive system a rest.”

The Baby Food Diet is another gimmicky approach. According to our nutritionists, it’s better to keep your body fueled with whole foods — fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.

As more and more people are becoming weight conscious every now and then we hear new diet plans coming up in the market. Dietitians are making pots of money with new diet plans. As and when new diet plan come up in the market and their demands rises.

This time it is “The Baby food diet plan” which has come up in the market. It is one of the newest diet fads which have hit Hollywood. It is little strange and funny to follow the baby food diet plan but celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Reese witherspoon are following it. Just because they are using it one should not start following it but one should have a brief knowledge about it. Celebrities do only the best to maintain their body and if they are adopting it then there must be something good about it.

So lets us see what this diet is all about.

As the name suggest this diets advice people to trade your regular meal for a jar of baby food. So it includes mashed fruits such as bananas, veggies ,dal ka paani,cereals which are packed in small jars etc. This diet has won everybody appreciation because eating baby food satiate hunger pangs. For many people eating baby sized diet meals instead of regular one is quite beneficial. This is because baby food dieters will dine of pureed nutrition which is easy to digest
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Diet focuses on three points which are:-

1.Eat your normal daily food when you have your meals at least three times a day .So this means you don’t have to skip meals while on this diet to get all your required nutrition. This is emphasized as many people skip their meals especially overweight one.

2. Need to eat often possibly 4 to 5 meals a day but in moderate quantity.

3. Now comes the baby food part where you have to eat little jars or containers of baby food every day. Avoid food which are too high in sugars but you can have mashed peaches, mangoes and bananas.

Advantages:-

1. First of all it is easy to follow this diet. Baby food jars are easily available in super market and they can be taken to work place and store in fridge easily. There is no hassles’ of taking it out add masalas ,like it is done when one is advised to eat chana or murri in snacks.

2. Baby food is full of vitamins and free of additives.

3. Easy for vegetarians to follow.

Disadvantages:-

1. Food requirement of adult and of babies are quite different .Babies do not required as much amount of calcium and proteins which are needed by an adult body.

2. Baby food is very low in calories and does not prove adequate energy resources for an adult. Also due to lower fiber intake it can result in problems like constipation and thinning of hair as Vitamin E intake is quite less in this diet.

3. One cannot switch to this diet for long .Chances of switching of old habit and start binging during snacks time is quite possible.

Conclusion-Diets keep on changing but it is very important to maintain and develop a good relationship with food. Baby food diet plan cannot work for long term as one will surely bounce back to normal diet later on. Good for those who have short term goals of reducing weight.

Money Crashers

I remember being really impressed a few years back when my friend was telling me about how she made her own baby food. She told me how she bought fruits and vegetables, cooked them, pureed them, and froze them in an ice cube tray. It never crossed my mind that someone could make their own baby food. I didn’t have kids at the time, but once I had a baby of my own, I learned how common it was to make baby food at home. I was all excited about doing it, but once I started, I realized that there were some definite downsides as well.

Here are the pros and cons of making your own baby food to help you decide if it is right for you and your family:

Pros of Making Your Own Baby Food

1. Saves Money

You can save quite a bit of money by making your own food. It’s estimated that making your own baby food costs you a third of what it costs to buy commercial baby food. A 4 ounce jar of baby food costs about $0.50. If your baby eats 3 jars a day, that equates to $45 per month. Now, if you were to make the same amount of food, it would only cost you about $15 which would be a savings of $30 per month. So if your baby eats 3 jars per day for six months, that is a savings of $180! I imagine that your baby will eat more than that so you should expect even greater savings. There are a lot of baby costs so you need to save where you can!

2. It’s Fresh

Who doesn’t like to eat food right out of the oven? Or fruit at its peak ripeness? You can make your baby’s food right before he or she eats it. It is not processed, doesn’t sit in a jar while being shipped to a store, and doesn’t wait idle on a store’s shelf for long periods of time. It’s fresh! I have definitely noticed that my baby is more likely to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. There are even some foods, such as bananas, that he won’t ever eat out of a jar but will gladly consume if it’s fresh.

3. More Nutritional

Jarred baby food is heated to exceptionally high temperatures when it is being processed, which depletes some heat-sensitive nutrients. Also, homemade food has no preservatives or added fillers.

4. More Varied

There are no limits on what you can do. Commercial baby food only comes in so many varieties, but when you make your own, the possibilities are limitless. I have made my baby kiwi, cauliflower, and zucchini. I highly doubt that you can find those in the baby aisle of your grocery store! When you make homemade food, you can also puree it to the desired thickness. If your baby is older, you may want it to be thicker and more chunky as your baby transitions to finger foods. You can also make your food organic if you choose.

Cons of Making Your Own Baby Food

1. Time Consuming

I know that people say it is not time consuming, but it is time consuming! Before you even start cooking, you need to do a little research on what your baby can eat, where to buy it, and how to prepare it. The next step is going to the store to buy the food. If you are wanting organics, it may be a challenge to find what you are looking for depending on where you live. I live in an Atlanta suburb, and I have had a difficult time finding some organic fruits and vegetables.

Preparing the food is also timing consuming depending on what you are preparing. Bananas are great because all you have to do is smash them up. However, if you are making carrots, they need to be peeled, cut, steamed, and finally pureed. That takes a lot of time! And when you have a baby at home, time is one thing that you do not have a lot of.

2. Might Not Taste Good

I have made quite a few mistakes in making baby food over the past few months. Several times I have made food from fruits that were not ripe. The end result was very tart goop that even my dogs wouldn’t eat. There is also the added risk that your baby might just not like that particular food. If you make a whole batch of it, and then your baby doesn’t like it, you may be stuck eating it yourself.

3. Difficult to Take On the Go

If you are out and about with baby during the day, the baby is going to need to eat lunch at some point. I suppose you could pack up food that you made, but it sure is easier to just open up a jar.

Final Thoughts

For some families, buying commercial baby food is probably the better way to go. If both parents work or go to school or are busy with activities or other children, it would be hard to find the time to mash up food for the baby. On the other hand, if you are on a tight budget, it might be worth spending some extra time in the kitchen so you can spend less money and give your baby some healthier food options. And there is always the option of doing a combination both which is what I do. I dedicate one week a month to making as much food as I need for that month. I find that if I spend an hour each night that week, I am able to have plenty for my baby. I also buy some food so that I can have my baby try new foods without committing a bunch of time to making it myself. That also allows me to have jars when I am out and about.

Do you make your own baby food? Do you have any good recipes to share?

(Photo Credit: jencu)

What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:

Does It Work?

The Baby Food Diet is a fad diet that may help you lose weight for the short term. Substituting several jars of baby food for standard meals will likely lower the amount of calories you eat by sheer portion control and tastebud boredom. But just like a baby, it won’t be long before you outgrow this diet and start to gain weight.

Is It Good for Certain Conditions?

Gerber, a leader in prepared baby foods, states on its web site that its baby foods meet the American Heart Association’s (AHA) sodium recommendations for a 1- to 3-year-old child: less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day. This is the same amount that the AHA recommends for adults, as well. But that assumes you are only going to be eating the amount of baby food that a baby would eat in a day. If you are going to be eating more than that and adding an adult meal or two a day, you will need to be reading labels closely to make sure you do not go over your limit of salt, especially if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.

If you have heart disease or high cholesterol, the baby food diet may help decrease the fat in your diet. This is because you are bound to fill up on the pureed fruits and vegetables rather than on the less tasty meats. You will have to make sure that you are getting enough protein and other nutrients in your “adult” meal each day.

The nutrition guidelines of the American Diabetes Association state that all diets should be pleasurable and practical. An eating plan should help you make healthy food choices. The Baby Food Diet falls short in both of these respects.

Any weight loss will help decrease your chances of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. But there are healthier and tastier ways to shed the pounds. And exercise should be part of the plan, as well.

The Final Word

The Baby Food Diet may be an option if you are just trying to kick-start some weight loss. Your actual food prep is minimal unless you choose to puree your own baby food. All you need to do is pick out jars of baby food at the store. They are easy to pack for lunches. And many versions of the diet allow you total freedom for a daily “adult” meal.

But unless you do make some of your own baby food, your choices will be pretty slim. You are also likely to find out that a lot of the enjoyment of eating involves not only taste but texture. Your stomach is liable to feel pretty empty, making it tough to resist temptation. Costs may add up quickly, too, depending on how many jars a day you will be eating. And all that individual packaging doesn’t do much good for the environment, either.

It would be far better to look into another eating plan that you can stick with and not quickly grow out of. And while you are at it, look for one that involves some age-appropriate exercise, as well.

Should You Lose Weight With the Baby Food Diet?

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The baby food diet has been Tinseltown’s most buzzed-about new weight loss plan since widespread reports claimed that celeb fitness guru Tracy Anderson put Jennifer Aniston on the diet to lose a few pounds for a role. Aniston has denied the rumors, but that hasn’t stopped the baby talk. (Think this celebrity diet is bizarre? Check out The Weirdest Weight Loss Tricks Celebs Swear By.)

The diet reportedly involves replacing breakfast and lunch with about 14 jars of baby food (about 25 to 75 calories each), and then eating a sensible dinner. What’s really up with the weight loss trend? Here, a quick pro and con guide:

Pro: No need to cook-just throw a bunch of jars of baby food in your bag and go. They’re portion controlled!

Con: Maybe there’s a reason you don’t remember what you ate as a baby. Pureed peas, anyone? And if you choose the higher calorie options, you’re still eating at least 1,000 calories. If you really, really love the taste, well, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that finding a diet you can stick to is more important than which diet you choose. But baby food for the long term? Doubt it.

Pro: Celebs like Lady Gaga, Marcia Cross and Reese Witherspoon are rumored to have followed the Baby Food Diet.

Con: Maybe they’re not. None of these stars are fessing up. We probably wouldn’t admit it if we were subsisting on strained squash, either.

Pro: Nobody will steal your food from the office fridge.

Con: It’s hard to earn professional respect when spooning strained carrots out of an itty bitty jar at a business lunch. Enough said.

Pro: Baby food is low in additives and preservatives.

Con: It’s still baby food. Sure, you have something on your colleague with the organic food superiority complex. But it’s still more likely that her organic arugula with heirloom tomato salad will end up on a celeb chef menu than your mashed cauliflower.

Pro: Baby food is cheaper than a home delivery juice cleanse program.

Con: It’s not as trendy. A juice cleanse program can run around $65 per day, whereas baby food costs a fraction of this. But while juice cleanses are widely considered socially acceptable, baby food…isn’t. (But even juice cleanses give out false claims. Here, The Next Wave of Juice Cleanses.)

Bottom line: You can lose weight on the baby food diet, but we still recommend eating like a grown-up. Check out our inventory of recommended foods for weight loss, plus healthy recipes and other sensible diet strategies.

  • By Colleen Egan

iStock/marekuliasz

It’s been rumored that celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson put her clients on a “baby food diet” in which one eats 14 jars of baby food per day with the optional chewable meal at night. Sounds nutty (creamy nutty, not crunchy), sure, but does it work? If Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, and Reese Witherspoon have all (allegedly) done it, then maybe it’s worth the go? Here’s what you need to know about the baby food diet fad, once and for all.

What the Baby Food Diet Looks Like

There’s not much structure to the baby food diet. No one has written a book about it, and the general premise varies depending on whom you listen to in the rumor mill. After some research, the trend points to the dozen-plus jars of baby food as your main diet throughout the day, and if you have the urge to chew, you can incorporate a proper lean protein and vegetable meal at the end of the day as the last thing you consume. Other sources take a much more relaxed approach to the baby food diet, consuming mini 20 to 100-calorie jars as snack replacements, two or three times per day.

Does the Baby Food Diet Work?

The baby food diet’s effectiveness hinges on portion control and low-calorie consumption (about 700 to 1,000 calories per day). And just like any other diet that limits your intake of high-calorie foods, you may indeed lose weight. The baby food diet also gives your digestive system a break, which allows the body to focus its energy on healing and repairing your cells, at least in theory.

If you are replacing only snacks with baby food, then the diet’s effectiveness depends on what you are replacing. If you normally snack on high-calorie, high-fat, and dense goodies, then a compact 20 to 100-calorie baby food jar can help replace bad dietary habits and ultimately lead to weight loss.

The Takeaway

There is absolutely no need to stock up on hundreds of baby food jars per week to achieve the body of your dreams. The baby food diet, as silly or harmless as it may seem compared to other diets, is completely pointless. Whether it helps you to lose weight is not really relevant. There are ways to cut calories and portion sizes without dipping a miniature spoon into baby jars all day long. Baby food does what a green smoothie or green juice does. But therein lies the point: have a green juice or smoothie, like a grown ass woman, not pureed mush from a baby food jar. Unless, you know, bibs are your thing.

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Menu

It seems no strategy, no matter how bizarre, is off the table when people are trying to lose weight, and now fully grown adults are turning to their first-ever meals in order to slim down closer to that just-born figure.

The Baby Food Diet is becoming a strange cult favorite, and includes eating 14 jars of baby food every day in place of your breakfast and lunch. The baby food comprises about 1,000 calories, and then you switch to real food for dinner.

While the thought of revisiting that shapeless mash sounds nightmarish to many, other people are quite protective of it. Even Reese Witherspoon reportedly likes to eat baby food for the first two meals of her day.

There are benefits to the fad diet, however, like potentially reducing fat intake while upping your servings of fruits and vegetables. It also makes portion control easy, since it’s hard to eat more than a few spoonfuls anyway. The diet requires no prepping on your behalf, and your servings are fixed, which makes it harder to cheat by sliding a little more on your plate than you’re supposed to have.

Baby food is also praised for being easy to grab on the go, though could you imagine snacking on it anywhere in public?

Ultimately, this diet creates a stable caloric intake and you have the potential to lose weight if you’re lowering your calories, particularly in combination with what WebMD calls “taste bud boredom.”

But is it good for you? Replacing meals with baby food could cause nutritional imbalances, since, if it’s not already obvious, adult bodies are a little different than baby bodies, and they have different needs. Protein, fiber, and chewing help people feel full, which is hard to come by in a jar of blended mush.

You’re also looking at a short-term solution, which is almost never recommended by doctors. When you’re trying a new diet, nutritionists often advise you to ask yourself, “Can I picture myself eating this way forever?” If you can honestly answer “yes” to that question regarding the Baby Food Diet, then aside from that being weirdly impressive, you’re in for an eternally expensive and boring meal plan.

This diet also hasn’t been scientifically tested, so if you’re going to try it you should definitely do your research and talk to your doctor before forcing mushy carrots down your throat every day. Or, you know, make better food choices and get some exercise.

I’ll admit it: the squeezy pouch of baby food is an amazing feat of technology. You’ve probably seen these shelf-stable, lightweight packets of puréed nutrients in the grocery store. Maybe you marveled at the product’s ingenuity. Maybe you felt resentful that these squeezers weren’t around when you were growing up and instead you were fed weird green goo from a plain old jar. Or maybe you decided that you weren’t too old to get in on this pouchy action and bought a package of mango-applesauce to give it a try.

If you did, you’d be in good company. According to publications like Extra-Crispy, The Wall Street Journal, and The Kitchn, many grown-ups are buying—and consuming—these little packages of puréed fruits and vegetables. Like, on purpose.

That’s right, adults are eating baby food. And they need to stop.

Don’t get me wrong, these packaged baby foods are great for, you know, babies. On a family vacation last year when my then 6-month-old brother, Townes, was transitioning to solid food, the squeeze-y pouches played an invaluable role in keeping him happy and fed throughout the trip, whether we were at the hotel breakfast table or a fancy sushi restaurant or on the beach. Convenient, lightweight, readily available, these packets also usually contain some totally virtuous combination of fruits, vegetables, and the occasional whole grain. Every nutritional need you could have, perfectly sealed in a tiny, science-y, pouch. This is the eating of the future, right? I sure hope not.

The thing is, unlike Townes, you’ve fully learned how to masticate and ingest solid food. (And even Townes is well on his way these days, enjoying scrambled eggs and berries and lots of banana pancakes.) You have teeth and a jaw that unhinges for a reason. Congrats! Proud of you. Use the incredible set of resources afforded to you by nature. Rejoice in the pleasure of chewing delicious solid food—it’s truly, in my opinion, one of the few true joys we’re afforded on a daily basis.

Of course, there are plenty of situations and real medical conditions that make eating solid food difficult. But, in that case, there are also plenty of totally delicious foods you can make that are infinitely more delicious than weird tube goo. In fact, there are whole categories of food devoted to this: Soups! Smoothies! Ice cream and milkshakes! Mashed vegetables! All glorious, soft, liquified foods you—an adult—could happily enjoy instead of resorting to sucking room-temperature food out of a tube marketed to babies. In fact, these are actually some of my favorite foods. I used to almost look forward to getting my braces tightened so my mom would make me vichyssoise. Have vichyssoise, not tube goo. You’re worth it.

Craving some food but too tired to chew? Try soup!

Hirsheimer & Hamilton

Why Adults Shouldn’t Eat Baby Food

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Celebrities have quite the knack for causing a stir when they release their “diet secrets,” and this week is no different. Today, Girls writer and star Lena Dunham posted on Instagram her “Trump Diet.” Dunham, a liberal stalwart, was facetiously remarking on how difficult she’s found eating since the November election. Her tone is clearly joking, but tucked in the third entry is a shout out to baby food, an infamous celebrity diet trend.

Image zoom Photo: Lena Dunham/Instagram

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Indeed, several celebrities tout baby food as their secret elixir for shedding pounds. Last summer, Camila Alves credited her flat stomach to two meals of baby food each day. She eats a more sensible dinner—a protein, black beans, and vegetables —but the actress and co-founder of baby food company Yummy Spoonfuls says she supplements her nutritional needs all day with pouches of squeezable food. Designer Hedi Slimane admitted to living on a diet of baby food to keep his super-slim physique, too.

What is the baby food diet? Why is it popular?

The idea is simple: replace two meals each day with several jars (or pouches) of baby food. A jar of baby food contains between 20 and 90 calories, so sticking to a low-calorie diet will still require downing several jars of pureed goo.

Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson gets a lot of the internet-(in)famous credit for this fad, but research reveals it’s been around since the 1980s. Some advocates suggest eating about 14 jars of baby food throughout the day, then a dinner at night. Other “plans” suggest you only eat baby food. Truthfully, you won’t find any hard and fast rules for the baby food diet because it’s more of a myth than a medical regimen.

Can you lose weight with the baby food diet?

Absolutely. You can lose weight with just about any “diet” though, so don’t give the baby food diet too much credit. In fact, it’s easy to understand why the baby food diet would be successful. You will need to eat a lot of baby food to maintain a normal calorie count each day, so if you can’t keep up, you may miss your daily calorie goal. Eating fewer calories than needed for weight maintenance means you will start seeing pounds slip off. Each jar is small, so portion control isn’t very difficult. And if you can stomach all the flavors (turkey and “gravy,” anyone?), you also get a wide variety of flavorful options.

But with those “benefits” come a few harsh realities. You’ll have to train your palate to find baby food tolerable. Many brands don’t season their foods at all. A more mature palate is accustomed to salt, sugar, and fat, so removing those entirely will be quite a shock to your tongue. Likewise, adults are made to eat real food. Unlike babies, we have teeth and digestive systems that can handle chewable food.

A balance of fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrates is essential to keeping your body running at optimal levels. If you exercise too, a diet of pureed produce is unlikely to meet your body’s needs. You could soon find yourself feeling weak or worse, hangry. Meeting your daily nutritional requirements while eating two meals of pureed fruits and vegetables will be difficult, if not nearly impossible. If you use it for quick slim down prior to a big day (like a wedding or a party), know that you’ll likely gain back all the weight you lost quickly once you return to solid food.

“Baby food is lacking adequate amounts of fiber, fat, and protein to sustain a healthy adult. This puréed, and often strained, food is created for babies with underdeveloped digestive systems,” says Cooking Light assistant nutrition editor Jamie Vespa, MS, RD. “Keeping our digestive systems active by eating whole, nutrient-dense food is healthy for both our gut and our immune system. The ‘baby food diet’ is a gimmicky, unsustainable diet that should not be utilized by adults wishing for long-term results.”

Bottom line: Like Dunham’s advice to not follow her Trump Diet, we do not recommend you try the baby food diet. “It’s nutritionally inadequate. I can’t think of a single pro for an adult to eat baby food, unless their jaws are wired shut,” Vespa says. Healthy adults should instead look to fill their plates with fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrates and leave the jars of colorful glop to the young ones.

I held the spoon to my mouth, and I grimaced when the contents touched my tongue — warm, mushy carrots.

This was my 7-month-old son’s dinner — and mine too. I would spend a week eating baby food, although it was less of a calculated effort and more of a desperate attempt to hang onto my sanity.

As a new mother who worked from home, I was unprepared for how difficult it would be to juggle both a job and an infant, often getting crapped on from everyone, everywhere. The laundry piled up to unbelievable heights. The dishes in the sink smelled like a homeland security threat. For myself, I did the bare minimum to erase the stink lines that followed me around like Pigpen in a Peanuts comic.

Courtesy of Maggie Downs

Something had to give, I realized. And that something was chewing.

I’m kidding. Chewing wasn’t so much the issue. The problem was the time it took to make myself a separate meal. When the choice came down to cooking for my son and cooking for myself, it was an easy decision. He who sobs the loudest wins.

This sort of thing wasn’t new for me, per se. I’ve done some crazy diets in the past. In college, I was the originator of the Beef Jerky Diet, which sprained my jaw before I ever lost any weight. (No wonder my diet never caught on.) I’ve been a raw foodist and I’ve tried juices. I’ve scrubbed my guts with gallons of cabbage soup and master cleansed with liters of lemonade. One time I ate nothing but raw macadamia nuts for three days.

When my son began eating solid foods, I decided to make all his meals from scratch. I’m a person who enjoys cooking anyway, and it was important to me to provide him with fresh, healthy produce.

When I thought about it, eating baby food wasn’t a bad idea idea. After all, many of the world’s most beloved foods are enjoyed in their squished form. Guacamole is perfection. Applesauce is awesome. Hummus is great. And who doesn’t love mashed potatoes?

Plus, I’ve been enough to fancy restaurants where entrees are served atop puddles of parsnip mash or dollops of spring pea purée. This wasn’t mere baby food I was creating — it was cutting-edge cuisine!

Courtesy of Maggie Downs

At first, the purées I ate were terrific, like downing super thick smoothies for every meal. And it really did save a lot of time, which otherwise would have been spent over the stove or cleaning the dishes. The bonus was that it forced me to be more creative with the things I whipped up in the blender, because I wanted to consume delicious things too. Snap peas, pears and a banana? Tasty. Sweet potatoes, cherries and vanilla? Like a party in my mouth. Fava beans and summer squash with leeks? Eh, not the worst.

After a week of baby food; however, eating became something laborious. It was no longer interesting or enjoyable. I fantasized about crunch. Chewing felt like an old friend I only vaguely remembered. I realized I was on the diet of someone who just had his wisdom teeth pulled, but for no real reason.

That’s the day I decided to reverse the process: Instead of eating what my baby eats, I would simply give him what I like to eat.

It’s a strategy that has worked well for us ever since, with a food repertoire that has expanded to include soft grilled eggplant, five-bean chili, rice pudding, roasted veggies of all kinds, aloo gobi and pillows of naan.

We didn’t want to be those culinary snobs who go to a restaurant and just order the parsnip purée, anyway.

Maggie Downs Maggie Downs is a journalist and essayist based in Palm Springs, CA.

Whether you’re wondering how to lose weight postpartum or are looking for the latest diet trend to hit the celebrity circuit, The Baby Food Diet is making headlines. Developed by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson and based on the foods that are good for your little one, too, this pureed food plan has celebs like Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston and Madonna sing its praises. Although the diet sounds like an easy weight loss plan, can you really lose weight eating baby food?

What is The Baby Food Diet?

In general, the plan includes 14 4-ounce servings of pureed food and 1 balance adult meal once per day. Another version of the same cleanser plan is to replace snacks with these small servings of baby food, balancing with three healthy adult meals per day. Overall, the goal is to slash the number of calories you take in and boost your body’s cleansing ability with this dietary detox.

“I wanted something where you can eliminate toxicity and break bad habits but still have your digestive system going,” said Tracy Anderson in an interview with a UK magazine. But, as a postpartum mommy, is this diet right for you?

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Can I balance weight loss with nutritional needs when eating baby food?

Just like any diet plan, opting for a variety of fruits, cereals, vegetables and meats is essential for healthy results. However, The Baby Food diet is low in fiber and bad fats, but getting these missing nutritional needs for adults can be achieved when choosing the right foods for your daily meal allowance.

However, breastfeeding mothers should be weary. “Most breastfeeding moms need between 1800-2000 calories per day,” advises Cheri Wiggins, M.D., www.milkin-cookies.com. “Typically, if a mom consumes less than 1800 calories per day, she’ll see a decrease in milk production.” The Baby Food Diet may not meet your traditional needs when nursing your little one.

>> Check out 10 snacks to help you lose the baby weight

How to lose weight long term with baby food

The Baby Food Diet may be more of a quick fix to weight loss than the perfect long term plan for dropping the pounds. To continue with this celebrity-boasted diet long-term, doctors suggest only employing this calorie-cutting method a few days a week to avoid yo-yo dieting.

So, can you really lose weight eating baby food? The answer is “possibly,” and only as a short term solution for many. However, don’t be surprised if you miss the satisfaction of chewing your food. WebMD.com reports that feelings of satisfaction and fullness are associated with chewing your food — a step missing from the pulverized food plan — so, this Tinsel Town diet may not be right for everyone. But, at the least, perhaps The Baby Food Diet can make you feel young at heart as you shed the pounds and share your little one’s cuisine!

More about losing the post-baby weight

The breastfeeding diet for nursing moms
Postpartum weight loss classes work
Getting motivated to lose postpartum pounds

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