It’s that time! At six months, baby is ready to begin adding fruits and vegetables to their diet. While breastmilk or formula should still be the primary form of nutrition for baby until they are a year old, introducing them to new flavors is a fun experience for both baby and parent.
In the past, commercial rice cereal is what most parents would choose for their baby’s first food because it was considered hypoallergenic; however, pediatric sources including Dr Frank R Greer, a member of the American Academy of Pediatric’s Committee on Nutrition, are acknowledging that nutrient-rich foods such as avocado, sweet potato and banana are great first food options. The idea of making your baby’s food may seem daunting, but it doesn’t take long to make at least a week’s worth of food. New gadgets and gizmos make the whole process easier and just as portable as a commercial jar. So what do you have to lose? Give it a shot! Your pocketbook and baby will thank you!
few Tips to get you started
• Always ensure that your hands and all tools used for preparation are clean.
• Using fresh (preferably organic) fruits and vegetables is best, but frozen is the next best choice when fresh options aren’t available. Frozen (unsweetened) fruits and vegetables are picked and frozen quickly to retain the best taste and nutrition. Canned fruits and vegetables are not recommended for making baby food.
• Always thoroughly cleanse, peel and pit vegetables and fruits before pureeing.
• Purees can be kept in the refrigerator for three days, but when frozen immediately can be stored for up to three months.
• While there are many new gadgets out to make the process easier, all you really need is a steamer, blender and materials to freeze and store the purees.
• For more recipes, different cooking methods, baby food nutritional value and much more regarding homemade baby foods visit www.wholesomebabyfoods.com.
10 fruit and vegetable choices for baby purees
Avocado is a great first food because it is packed with essential fats and nutrients. It is a creamy and smooth food making it well digested and tolerated by most babies. Get the recipe here>>
Banana is another great first food choice. It’s mucosal properties help to coat developing stomachs and aide in digestion. Bananas also have a sweet taste that many babies readily accept. Get the recipe here>>
Sweet potatoes are nutritionally-packed vegetables that make an excellent first food choice. They are filled with vitamin A, beta carotene and potassium just to name a few. Babies also love their sweet and smooth texture. Get the recipe here>>
Pears are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. They blend well with other purees and are a great mix-in for cereal. Get the recipe here>>
Butternut and acorn squashes are high in vitamin A, folate and calcium. They are easy to puree and can be made as thick or thin as you desire when blended. Get the recipe here>>
Applesauce is another easy puree, it can even be enjoyed by the whole family! Apples are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and folate, as well as potassium and calcium. Get the recipe here>>
Peas are a perfect first green for baby. They contain vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and protein (a cup of peas has more protein than a tablespoon of peanut butter). Get the recipe here>>
Nutrient-rich green beans are full of calcium, vitamin K and vitamin C. They are also a great source of vitamin A and manganese. Their many nutrients can also prevent many conditions such as asthma, acne, ear infections, and maybe flu and colds. Get the recipe here>>
Broccoli (and cauliflower) are recommended for older babies, generally between 8-10 months, as it can cause gas and may be more difficult for young tummies to digest. They are nutritionally a great choice for their phytochemicals (said to help reduce cancer) and are high in vitamin C. Get the recipe here>>
Peaches are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. If baby is struggling with constipation, peaches are an effective natural laxative. Get the recipe here>>
More on parenting:
• How to introduce solid foods
• Months 7-9: Common milestones
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