Making your own baby food is simpler than you may think and less costly than buying packaged baby food. It’s also practical because you can use fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, and meat that you have on hand. Most importantly, you understand precisely what you’re feeding your baby.
How to prepare homemade baby food?
“Homemade” baby food can be as basic as a pureed or mashed variation of what you’re serving the rest of your family. This likewise gets your baby used to eating the same food as everyone else, a technique that might pay off during the picky young child years.
For dish concepts, get inspired by these photo galleries of homemade baby food, varying from smooth purees and soft mashes to chunky textures and finger foods.
Proper equipment for making food
You’ll need a tool to grind or puree food for your baby. Possibilities range from an electrical baby-food maker to an excellent old-fashioned fork:
- A baby-food maker. This all-in-one tool first steam-cooks then purees fruit, vegetables, and meat. Some models defrost and reheat formerly prepared food.
- A blender or food mill. Some parents like them, but others find them too cumbersome and do not like the quantity of clean-up needed for small jobs.
- A hand blender. This portable electrical gadget purees food like a mixer, but operates in the opposite method: You put it into the food instead of vice versa.
- A hand-turned food mill with various blades for various textures of food. Lots of parents say this portable, non-electric gizmo is their preferred tool.
- A baby-food grinder. Non-electric, portable, and really low-cost, this easy tool breaks down pieces of food like the mill, but you don’t have an option of textures. Read evaluations prior to ordering– the grinders don’t always work along with they guarantee. Nevertheless, some parents swear by them.
- A fork. This ubiquitous piece of cutlery is all you need to change quickly mashed foods such as baked sweet potatoes, avocados, and bananas into a meal for your baby.
Buy the Best Products for Homemade Baby Food
Pick only the freshest fruits and vegetables for making baby food, and aim to use what you purchase within a day or two. When fresh isn’t really readily available, frozen is a great choice. (If you prefer natural produce, find out how to purchase organic food for less.).
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that wait until your baby is at least 4 to 6 months old prior to beginning solids. Need to you opt to start earlier, the AAP advises that you do not feed a baby below 3 months old veggies that tend to be high in nitrates– such as beets, carrots, green beans, spinach, and squash.
Do I need to fret about nitrates?
No. Nitrates are chemicals found in water, soil, and some food, such as spinach, beets, carrots, green beans, and squash. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions parents not to feed these veggies to babies under 3 months old since the concentration of nitrates in them could be toxic for young infants.
However, this should not be a concern, because the AAP doesn’t advise any solid food for infants until they’re 4 to 6 months. By that age, a baby’s digestion system has actually developed enough to deal with nitrates in veggies, and these nutrient-packed foods can be on the menu.
Serving and Storage Tips
From adding taste to freezing leftovers, here are some extra tips for making baby food.
- Use caution if you heat meals in the microwave. Microwaves heat unevenly and can produce “hot spots”– areas of the food that are much hotter than others– so be sure to stir microwaved food well and let it sit for a couple of minutes before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container and use them up within a couple of days. You can also freeze leftovers in ice cube trays or comparable devices. After the cubes are frozen solid, eliminate them and store in plastic freezer bags. Vegetables and fruits frozen in this manner will last 6 to eight months. Meat and fish will last one to two months.
- Dish out just the quantity of food you think your baby will eat at that feeding. You’ll need to toss what’s left over because your baby’s saliva will get into the mix and make it simple for bacteria to grow in the food.
- Use spices. In spite of the tradition of feeding children boring food, they can tolerate and delight in different flavors.
- Don’t sweeten your baby’s food. Infants don’t require any additional sugar. And never use honey, which can cause botulism– a possibly fatal type of food poisoning– in infants.
- Serve the food no warmer than body temperature.