February 10, 2009

Make Your Own Baby Food

Baby eating baby food (blended green beans)

The Easy Way to Make Your Own Baby Food

Is your baby about to start solid foods? Are you thinking of making your own baby food?

When you make baby’s first foods, you can save money and reduce waste. You also can choose more nutritious options. Fresh foods are typically more nutritious than those that come in jars, and you can purchase organic food to prepare for baby if you wish. You can also avoid unwholesome ingredients that show up in commercial baby food.

Making your own baby food doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. In fact, the easiest and cheapest way is the best way!



The easy way to making your own baby food:

1) Don’t bother with buying one of those baby food grinders. They’re hard to clean and too much hassle.

2) If you wait until your baby is 6 months old to start solids, you can almost always just mash with a fork to the desired consistency.
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If you’re breastfeeding, you can even wait until baby’s “pincer grasp” is developed and offer him small finger foods like peas, bits of grated apple, and the like. The pincer grasp is developed when baby can pinch small objects (like those bits of carpet fluff or food on the kitchen floor!) in between his thumb and first finger.

In fact, if you have a family tendency towards food allergy, waiting longer to start solids may be preferable. No matter what baby’s age, always offer one food at a time and wait several days to watch for signs of allergy before offering another. Take it slow.

3) Start with fresh single ingredient foods like:

Banana
Steamed carrot, turnip, potato, yam
Avocado
Ripe pear, peach, melon, plum
Cooked squash
Grated apple- raw or steamed
Peas
Well cooked beans
Hard cooked egg yolks (avoid the whites until 1 year)

Some of these foods can be served raw. Others are lightly steamed (steaming retains more nutrients than boiling), to make them softer for baby.

4) It’s not necessary to make a big deal of preparing baby’s food.

If you want to take a lot of time blending food and freezing them in ice cube trays, you could certainly do that. But here’s an even easier way:

Although you do want to avoid giving baby salt and sugar (and spices that may upset the tummy), you can usually just take an ingredient from your own menu and “make” baby’s dinner.

For instance, if you’re steaming veggies to serve at dinner, take a tablespoon of them out of the pan before you add butter and salt. Put this in baby’s plate and mash away. Voila! Instant baby food with no extra work. Or take a bit of beef from your roast and mash, mash, mash until it’s very soft.

Even when you’re at a restaurant, you can either bring an apple with you and “grate” it finely with a spoon at your table, or bring along a banana or other portable food. Any restaurant with a salad bar would have cooked beans or avocado. Or give baby a bit of your baked potato (before you add the goodies on top).

Life with a new baby is challenging enough. Keep making your own baby food simple!

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Alexis Rodrigo

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