Article Text

Download PDFPDF
A comparison of preprepared commercial infant feeding meals with home-cooked recipes


Objectives To compare the cost, nutritional and food variety contents of commercial meals and published infant and young child feeding (IYCF) home-cooked recipes, and to compare nutritional contents to age-specific recommendations.

Design Cross-sectional study.

Setting Full range of preprepared main meals available within the UK market. Main-meal recipes identified from a survey of Amazon's top 20 best-sellers and IYCF cookbooks available from local libraries.

Samples 278 commercial IYCF savoury meals from UK market and 408 home-cooked recipes from best-selling IYCF published cookbooks.

Main outcome measures Cost and nutritional content per 100 g and food variety per meal for both commercial meals and home-cooked recipes.

Results Commercial products provided more ‘vegetable’ variety per meal (median=3.0; r=−0.33) than home-cooked recipes (2.0). Home-cooked recipes provided 26% more energy and 44% more protein and total fat than commercial products (r=−0.40, −0.31, −0.40, respectively) while costing less (£0.33/100 g and £0.68/100 g, respectively). The majority of commercial products (65%) met energy density recommendations but 50% of home-cooked recipes exceeded the maximum range.

Conclusions The majority of commercial meals provided an energy-dense meal with greater vegetable variety per meal to their home-cooked counterparts. Home-cooked recipes provided a cheaper meal option, however the majority exceeded recommendations for energy and fats.

  • Infant Feeding
  • Commercial Foods
  • Home-cooked
  • Food Variety
  • Child Feeding

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Atoms
    R Mark Beattie