Baby Food Diet: Good Idea?

| by Mitzi Dulan

No, your eyes aren’t fooling you. You have read the title correctly; I am talking about the baby food diet. This has recently gained popularity through the endorsement of several celebrities. But what exactly does this diet entail, and is it nutritionally sound for an adult? Actually, you can check out this article in the Kansas City Star (article right before downloadable photos) that I was recently quoted in about the Baby Food Diet.

The baby food diet consists of eating several jars of baby food in place of higher-calorie snacks throughout the day. Some even replace one or more meals with baby food jars. Like any low-calorie diet, this diet aims to reduce your total caloric intake. If the number of total calories you consume each day reduces to a point below your energy output, you get what is known as negative energy balance, and that results in weight loss.

While baby food could be an option for a low-calorie snack, there are plenty of others you could choose as well. Fresh fruits like apples, oranges, or bananas are perfect snack foods. Veggies such as celery, and carrots or even low-fat yogurt are great too. Point is, baby food isn’t the only low-calorie snack option out there and there are certainly better ways to reduce the total calories of a meal instead of simply replacing it with some jars of baby food.

In the short-term, this diet may not be too difficult and it could potentially be nutritionally sound—only if the baby food is just replacing other snacks and not meals—depending on the types and amounts of baby food chosen. However, this diet is most likely unsustainable due to the cost of the baby food itself, which can be quite expensive, and the fact that most adults would be unsatisfied with replacing entire meals with baby food day after day. Nutritionally, getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals could be a daunting task as well. There is a reason why it is called baby food: because it is sufficient nourishment for babies, not adults. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that like most other fad diets, it becomes a task and takes the enjoyment out of eating, which defeats the entire purpose of one of life’s pleasures, food!

Research assistance provided by Robert Masterson.