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Baby Food Diet - Fad or Fab?

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Updated June 14, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

jars of baby food
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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. 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. The baby food diet isn't safe if you don't get enough calories every day; even a low-calorie diet requires a minimum number of calories.

he baby food diet isn't safe if you don't get enough calories every day; even a low-calorie diet requires a minimum number of calories.

As with any other low-calorie diet, as long as you decrease the number of calories you eat every day, you should lose weight. The fact that you're eating baby food instead of small portions of adult food doesn't make any difference. One reason the 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 snacks.

Some baby food dieters believe eating baby food is beneficial because they think baby food is free from artificial food additives and pesticides. This is only true with organic brands. Regular brands might still contain colorings and preservatives.

Baby foods are low in fat and may be low in sugar (read the labels to be sure), but eating this way is expensive because you're paying for each individual container. And when you're done, you have a lot of little glass jars or plastic containers to throw out.

I remember feeding baby food to my kids when they were little, and frankly, that stuff just isn't appealing to me at all -- plus, I think it's easier to curb your appetite with fresh 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 meal 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 fruits 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 a fad diet.

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