Baby food as we know it today was invented in the late 19th century. In 1867, German chemist and entrepreneur Henri Nestlé created a milk-based baby food that could be easily digested. This was a major breakthrough at the time, as infant mortality rates were high due to a lack of access to safe and nutritious food.
In the United States, commercial baby food first appeared in the early 1900s. In 1928, Daniel Gerber founded the Gerber Products Company, which became a major player in the baby food market. Over the years, the company introduced many new products and innovations, including single-strain purees, organic baby food, and snacks for older babies.
Today, there are many different types of baby food available, from traditional purees and cereals to more modern options like pouches and ready-to-eat meals. Baby food is an important part of many families’ lives, providing infants with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
When Was Baby Food Invented?
Baby food has been a part of human civilization for centuries. Since ancient times, mothers have prepared mashed and pureed food for their infants to aid in their growth and development. However, the concept of commercially-prepared baby food is a relatively new phenomenon.
Historical Timeline of Baby Food
During the 19th century, hygiene and sanitation emerged as major concerns for public health officials. This prompted scientists and entrepreneurs to find ways to provide safe and nutritious food for infants. In 1827, Justus Von Liebig, a German chemist, created a mixture of cow’s milk, wheat flour, and potassium bicarbonate that was considered to be the first infant formula. However, it was dry and hard to digest.
Later in the century, a Swiss doctor named Henri Nestle created a liquid formula for infants that was more easily digestible. This formula eventually became known as Nestle’s Milk Food, and it was sold throughout Europe and the United States.
First Commercially Prepared Baby Food
In 1867, Henri Nestle and his partner, pharmacist Jean Balthasar Schnetzler, developed the world’s first infant food. The product, called “Farine Lactée,” was a combination of milk, wheat flour, and sugar. It was the first infant food to be manufactured on a large scale and was considered a major breakthrough in infant nutrition.
Later in the century, Justus Von Liebig developed the first commercially prepared baby food, which was made from wheat flour and cow’s milk. The product was marketed as “Liebig’s Soluble Food for Babies,” and it was sold throughout Europe and the United States. It was a breakthrough in infant nutrition, providing a convenient, nutritious, and safe alternative to homemade baby food.
Emergence of Jarred Baby Food
Despite the success of commercially prepared baby food, it was still a niche product until the early 1900s when two companies changed the game.
In 1901, the Gerber company was founded by Daniel Gerber and his wife, Dorothy. Gerber started out as a canning company, but in 1927 they produced their first pureed baby food – strained peas. The baby food was an instant success, and the company soon expanded its product line to include other fruits and vegetables.
One year later, in 1902, the Heinz company introduced its first baby food, a pureed food made from strained peas. It was the first baby food to be sold in a jar, and it revolutionized the way parents fed their babies. The jars were convenient, economical, and ensured that the baby food was fresh and free from contaminants.
By the mid-20th century, jarred baby food had become a staple in American households, and the industry was dominated by a few major companies, including Gerber and Heinz. The success of these companies paved the way for the wide range of baby foods available on the market today.
In conclusion, the history of baby food is a story of innovation and evolution. What started as a homemade solution to ensure the health of infants has become a multi-billion dollar industry that provides parents with a wide range of convenient, nutritious, and safe options for their babies.
Baby food has been around for centuries, and its origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations. However, it wasn’t until the 1800s that commercial baby food was introduced.