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:
- 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.
- Purée 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 puréed food 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.
- 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 purée dishes that you fix for the rest
of the family such as: macaroni and cheese, spaghetti well cooked,
chicken and ham. Freeze in ice cube trays similar to the fruits and
Good Foods to Purée
- Potatoes (mash with water, formula or breast milk)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
Be sure when thawing baby foods, especially meat dishes, that you allow them to thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave to prevent the risk of bacteria forming.
Dawn Lloyd is a busy mother and the editor of BabyUniversity.com where you can visit for lots more parent friendly tips and information.
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