Baby food calories per jar

Why Adults Shouldn't Eat Baby Food

Celebrities may give this diet fad more credit than it's due, but adults should steer clear of a baby food diet for several reasons.

By Kimberly Holland February 07, 2017

Credit: Credit: Vstock LLC/Getty

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.

Credit: 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.

What Is It, and Can You Lose Weight?

Baby Food Diet: What Is It, and Can You Lose Weight?

Medically reviewed by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, Nutrition — By Aimee Eyvazzadeh, MD, MPH — Updated on October 31, 2020

The baby food diet involves replacing breakfast, lunch, and snacks with 14 containers of baby food. You then eat a regular dinner in the evening. The diet is meant to last for 3 days.

The baby food diet gained popularity around 2010. It’s rumored that actress Jennifer Aniston, with the help of her celebrity trainer, used the diet to lose 7 pounds in a week during the filming of the movie “Just Go with It.”

The idea of losing a pound per day may sound tempting, but the baby food diet fits into the category of a fad diet.

Many fad diets might help you lose weight in the short term, but they’re usually difficult to follow for an extended period of time.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what exactly the baby food diet is, as well as the pros and cons of this eating plan.

The premise behind the diet is that the small portion sizes of baby food will reduce your daily calorie intake. The bland taste of pureed baby food is also supposed to discourage you from overeating.

There are several less restrictive versions of the diet, like replacing only one meal a day with baby food.

Compared to many fad diets, the baby food diet has loose guidelines. For instance:

  • The diet plan doesn’t specify which type of baby food you can eat. The calorie content in baby food can vary from about 20 calories to more than 120 calories per jar.
  • It doesn’t put a limitation on what you can eat for dinner.

Here’s an example of what an average day might look like on the baby food diet.

  • Breakfast: 5 jars of baby food
  • Lunch: 5 jars of baby food
  • Afternoon snack: 2 jars of baby food
  • Dinner: your regular dinner
  • Evening snack: 2 jars of baby food

Most reports of weight loss on the baby food diet are anecdotal. According to people who’ve tried it, it can help you lose weight in the short term.

However, there’s currently no scientific evidence to back up these claims or to prove it’s an effective diet for long-term weight loss.

Replacing your usual meals with baby food will likely lower the number of calories you eat per day, which is probably one of the main reasons why you may lose weight while you’re on this diet.

But research suggests that restricting calories alone is rarely an effective method for reducing body weight. When you lower your calorie intake, your body’s metabolism tends to slow down, too. You may also feel hungrier than usual if you aren’t getting enough calories.

Because this diet typically lowers your intake of fiber and sodium, the weight you lose may be from water retention and not necessarily from fat.

Research also shows that the weight that’s lost on calorie-restrictive diets is usually regained when you return to your usual eating habits.

In theory, it’s possible to get most of your essential nutrients while following the baby food diet. Many baby foods are made from pureed fruits and vegetables. Some baby foods are also made from high-protein foods or whole grains.

Following the baby food diet for the recommended 3 days likely won’t hurt you. But following this diet for a longer period of time could lead to nutrient deficiencies if you’re eating far below your daily calorie need.

With restrictive diets like the baby food diet, it’s also important to keep in mind the risk of developing disordered eating, which could lead to an eating disorder if the diet is followed for a longer period of time.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the baby food diet.


  • High in fruits and vegetables. Most baby foods are made from pureed fruits and vegetables.
  • Low in sodium. Most baby foods are low in sodium. Babies have a lower sodium requirement than adults.
  • Low in fat. Most baby foods are low in saturated fat.
  • No preparation. Besides your evening meal, there’s no meal prep necessary. Just open a jar and eat.


  • Restrictive. The baby food diet lacks the calories and nutrients you need to properly fuel your body.
  • Not filling. Most baby foods are low in protein and fiber. You may find that you feel hungry even when consuming adequate calories.
  • Low in fiber. You’ll get a lot more fiber from eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, rather than from food that’s been pureed.
  • Expensive. Most baby foods are fairly expensive per serving.
  • Large variation in calories between brands. The number of calories in a container of baby food varies from about 20 to 120 calories. Eating 14 containers per day could provide you with anywhere from 280 to 1,680 calories.

Following the baby food diet may help you quickly shed a few pounds, but it’s unlikely to cause sustainable weight loss.

Instead, a healthier strategy for long-term weight loss is to:

  • Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean protein, and healthy fats.
  • Limit your intake of foods and drinks that are high in added sugars.
  • Focus on portion control. Resist eating more than you need to satisfy your hunger.
  • Exercise regularly, at least 150 minutes a week.
  • Don’t skip meals.

If you’re looking to quickly lose a few pounds, the baby food diet may help you achieve results. But if you’re looking for sustainable, long-term weight loss, it’s far from ideal.

The baby food diet falls into the category of fad diets. These types of diets often promise rapid weight loss and include a strict list of foods you can and can’t eat.

Containers of baby food are relatively low calorie, but research has shown that restricting too many calories can slow down your metabolism. This means that as soon as you go back to eating normal meals, you’ll likely put the weight back on.

A safer and healthier option for long-term weight loss is to follow a balanced eating plan that includes all food groups, while also keeping an eye on your portion sizes, and including regular exercise in your weight loss program.

Last medically reviewed on October 31, 2020

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Benton D, et al. (2017). Reducing calorie intake may not help you lose body weight. DOI:
  • Fad diets. (2017).
  • Fernández-Elías VE, et al. (2015). Relationship between muscle water and glycogen recovery after prolonged exercise in the heat in humans. DOI:
  • Obert J, et al. (2017). Popular weight loss strategies: A review of four weight loss techniques. DOI:
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Chapter 1: Key elements of healthy eating patterns: A closer look inside healthy eating patterns. Dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Oct 31, 2020


Aimee Eyvazzadeh, MD, MPH

Edited By

Tracey Crate

Medically Reviewed By

Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Copy Edited By

Copy Editors

Nov 11, 2019


Aimee Eyvazzadeh, MD, MPH

Edited By

Claire Brocato

Medically Reviewed By

Carissa Stephens, RN, CCRN, CPN

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Medically reviewed by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, Nutrition — By Aimee Eyvazzadeh, MD, MPH — Updated on October 31, 2020

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Calorie jar of meat baby food. Chemical composition and nutritional value.

Chemical composition and nutritional analysis

Nutritional value and chemical composition
"meat baby food jar" .

The table shows the nutritional content (calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) per edible part.

Nutrient Number Norm** % of the norm in 100 g % of the norm in 100 kcal 100% normal
Calories 80 kcal 1684 kcal 4.8% 6% 2105
Proteins 8 g 76 g 10. 5% 13.1% 950 g
Fats 4 g 56 g 7.1% 8.9% 1400 g
Carbohydrates 2 g 219 g 0.9% 1.1% 10950 g

The energy value of meat baby food jar is 80 kcal.

Primary source: Created in the application by the user. More.

** This table shows the average norms of vitamins and minerals for an adult. If you want to know the norms based on your gender, age and other factors, then use the application "My Healthy Diet"

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