Want to feed your baby healthier, fresher food? Or maybe you’d like to save money on baby food? Here are tips for making your own baby food from scratch – tools, food and combination suggestions!
Making your own baby food gives you the distinct advantage of controlling what goes into your baby’s sensitive tummy. You determine how much, if any, sugar and spices your baby gets. Even when found on sale for as low as 50 cents per jar, producing your own is a much less expensive alternative to ready made. Making baby food is actually very simple with a few simple tools: a blender, food processor, baby food grinder or similar machine, a steamer or boiling pot, ice cube trays, and a few minutes of your time.
As with jarred baby food, begin slowly, introducing only one new fruit or vegetable per week. Be sure to watch for any signs of an allergic reaction. Start with the least acidic of the fruits, such as apples, pears, and bananas.
If you would like to prepare your own baby food, follow these basic tips:
Fruits and Vegetables
Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove any chemical residue. Steam or boil your baby’s favorite fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables until mushy. Use fresh fruits and veggies for the most nutritional value, frozen next, and canned as a last option. If you use canned veggies, be sure to use the “No Salt” versions. Use little or no spice.
Puree the fruits or vegetables very well for smaller infants, or leave a bit coarser for older ones. For variety, mix two fruits together. If these are the first foods you are feeding your infant, you may even want to strain the pureed fruit. You can purchase an inexpensive baby food maker that does this for you.
Spoon into ice-cube trays and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze. At meal time, simply pop out a few cubes of food and allow to thaw to room temperature or defrost in the microwave for a few seconds. You can make weeks worth of meals at a time!
A few suggested fruits and veggies to begin with:
- Potatoes (mash with water, formula, or breast milk)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
Make your own Ambrosia by mixing a few fruits together, such as peaches and bananas. Be creative! However, only use fruits which baby has already tried and shown no allergic reaction towards.
For older babies, mix plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt with their favorite fruits.
Freeze baby’s favorite juice in ice cube trays. Mush up and let baby eat with a spoon for a frozen treat! This one is great for those terrible teething days.
As baby gets older, you can also puree dishes that you fix for the rest of the family such as:
- macaroni and cheese
- well cooked chicken and ham
Freeze in ice cube trays similar to the fruits and vegetables.
Note: Be sure when thawing meat dishes that you allow them to thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave to prevent the risk of E-coli bacteria forming.
Points and Prizes Keyword: PEACHES worth 50 points good through 02/10/08.