Making your own baby food is a great way to save some money and feel good about what you’re feeding your precious little one. It also lets you control the ingredients so you know your baby is getting only what you want her to and nothing that you don’t want her to. Fortunately, making your own baby food isn’t hard and investing the time every couple of weeks will give you enough meals to last for at least a week or two.
Babies have pretty delicate digestive systems and since their immunity isn’t at peak performance yet, you want to be really careful about food borne illnesses. Making your own baby food starts with washing your hands well with soap and warm water. Then you need to wash the fruits and vegetables you plan to use with warm water and soap too. That way you remove harmful chemicals and get rid of any germs and bacteria lurking.
You’re going to want to peel the fruits and vegetables that need it. Carrots, kiwis, mangoes and oranges, for instance. Then, use a sharp knife to chop the food into small manageable pieces. That will make your job infinitely easier because the food will cook and puree much more quickly.
You don’t have to cook everything before making it into baby food. However, fruits and vegetables that are hard will need to be softened to make the food the proper consistency for a new eater. You can skip cooking things like bananas, kiwi, and mango. Foods like apples, carrots, squash, broccoli and potatoes should be boiled before pureeing.
Your next step is to put the food into a blender or food processor and puree it until very smooth. Use a bit of water to thin, if needed. Make sure you don’t have any chunks because they pose a choking risk to babies, especially those new to eating solid foods. You can certainly buy special products for making baby food, but a blender works perfectly so don’t feel like you have to spend the money if it’s not in the budget.
When your baby starts eating solids, you’ll want to stick with one new food at a time. That allows you to watch for signs of a food allergy. Once he gets more proficient at eating a variety of foods, make combination baby food. That gives you the chance to expose your baby to new tastes and loads him up on a bigger variety of vitamins and minerals. Try combining several types of fruits, such as strawberries and bananas. Or, more than one vegetable, such as squash and carrots. You can also mix and match fruits with vegetables. Try carrots and apples or pears mixed with squash.
Once you have your large batches of baby food complete, be sure you store them properly. Homemade baby food isn’t as shelf stable as jarred options. Your baby food will need to be refrigerated, but after a few days should be thrown away. Freezing your baby food makes it last a lot longer. Many parents portion it out into ice cube trays and pop out a couple of items when mealtime comes. They can be heated in the microwave before serving.
A baby’s mouth contains bacteria much like anyone’s. When you feed your little one homemade baby food, make sure you only portion out what she can actually eat. If you put the spoon into the food after it’s been in your baby’s mouth, the bacteria is transferred to the food. Keeping it for later can be dangerous, so toss anything that’s left over after mealtime ends.
Do you make your own baby food? It can be economical and healthy, but time consuming. I bought some and made some, which made me feel good, but didn’t suck all my time.
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