Baby food is very expensive to use as a fruit substitute. Some has added sugar and starch thickeners. Check ingredient label and the sugar and fiber counts. Sometimes the best part of the fruit (such as the apple peel) is removed.
Cooking/canning fruits removes some of the water from fruits, concentrating the fruit volume and sugars. Meaning it's more calorie-dense and digests faster (and can trigger hunger faster). Though it would be a better choice than dried fruits (again because the smaller volume and higher concentration of sugars means you can eat more before feeling satisfied).
As an occasional "treat" I don't see a problem with it, but I don't think canned/jarred fruit purees should be your main source of fruit.
There are a lot of ways to help fruit last longer.
The "green bags" really do help slow spoilage. I buy mine at the Dollar Tree 10 bags for $1 (at ten cents a bag, and they seem to work just as well as the expensive ones).
bananas - green bags. Do not refrigerate unripe bananas (they won't ripen properly). But once they're as ripe as you like them you can refrigerate them. The skin will turn black, but the banana inside will stay ripe but not overripe for a long time (at least a week if you like them pretty ripe and sometimes more than two weeks if you like them barely ripe). You can also slice and freeze bananas (without the skin). You can throw the frozen bananas into a blender or food processor and make an "ice cream" with them (only pureed frozen bananas, no other ingredient). Or you can add them to smoothies.
Strawberries. You can use them frozen in smoothies or puree them (like the bananas) with just a little bit of liquid and make a "sorbet" (liquid can be lemonade, fruit juice, diet Sprite or even water) and sweeten to taste. If you add more liquid you can make a virgin "strawberry daquiri" using diet lemonade or diet Mountain Dew or similar beverage.
Apples. Apples last a VERY long time in the refrigerator, especially if you pick crisp varieties like Braeburn, honeycrisp, fuji, Pink Lady...
Oranges. Oranges last a long time in the fridge too. You can also freeze orange slices (if they're seedless). There's a "popsicle" like treat that you can make by putting rinsed fresh fruit (I've only tried grapes, cherries and orange segments) in a ziploc bag and tossing the fruit with a bit of dry sugar free drink mix or sugar free jello straight from the packet to coat the fruit.
Grapes as mentioned are very good frozen (with or without the added sweetener). I usually only add the sugar free jello or drink mix to oranges and grapes that are a lot more tart than I expected, as I'm not a fan of too sour grapes or oranges.
Last edited by kaplods; 04-19-2010 at 04:40 PM.