Benefits of Making your Own Homemade Baby Food
Making your baby’s food is efficient, economical, and easy. Instead of going to buy prepackaged baby foods, you can purchase meats, grains, and fresh grown produce. Your baby will be fed very healthy meals and you will know the exact ingredients that are in his food. This way your baby eats the same meals that the rest of the family eats, but it is prepared in a method that is suitable for him. This will help the baby in the long run when he starts eating like a toddler.
How to Choose the Proper Equipment
You will need special equipment to prepare your baby’s food. Most of this equipment can be easily found in stores or may be found online. Here are some examples of the equipment you will need:
• Hand Turning Food Mill with multiple blades for different food textures. This is a portable gadget that is also commonly known as a food mill.
• Baby Food Maker is used to steam the baby’s food to ensure that it is properly cooked. It also purees meats, vegetables, and fruits. In addition, the food can be stored easily in the actual device if you’re in a hurry. Just remember to place it in the refrigerator.
• Baby Food Grinder is a very simple and affordable way to grind chunks of your baby’s food. This grinder does not give you a choice in textures types for your baby’s food. This device is not as versatile as others, but it is inexpensive.
• Hand Blender is a commonly used electric kitchen device that purees the baby’s food the same way a blender does. This manual blender can be used to blend foods in a bowl. This hand held blender is commonly used in many kitchens.
• Food Processor or Kitchen Blender is found in just about every kitchen. These devices work well for many cooking projects although they are not ideal for making smaller portions.
• A Good Fork is perhaps the simplest kitchen gadget that is found in everyone’s kitchen and it does the job. You can easily mash foods such as potatoes, bananas, squash, and avocados with a fork. When you do not have any of the special devices available this can usually take care of the meal preparation. If necessary boil the vegetables before mashing.
• Other Supplies may also be necessary to make the homemade baby food and those include plastic food containers and trays that are suitable for freezing.
Buy the Best Produce Possible
Choose fresh vegetables and fruits preferably organically grown, and use them within a couple of days. If you can not find fresh produce, then frozen produce is just fine. Organic produce would be the best choice, but it is more expensive.
You can start your homemade baby food with fruits such as bananas, apricots, apples, blueberries, pears, peaches, mangoes, prunes, and plums. When preparing vegetables you can select carrots, avocados, asparagus, peas, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, and butternut squash.
After thoroughly washing the vegetables, cook them. Some fruits like prunes and apples have to be pureed to soften. You can boil, steam, or bake the fruits or vegetables until they soften. When boiling the food, use very little water and if possible use soup stock instead of water. The stock that you use in the baby food preparation should have minimal seasoning.
Make sure to pit and peel the produce well and strain the seeds. Some vegetables and fruits have their own liquid, making it simple to mash by just adding a touch of seasoning. As your baby starts adapting to the different textures of food, you will be able to transition him to more solid foods.
Grains like millet or quinoa can also be ground or pureed in a grinder, but they need to be cooked according to the directions on the food package. To prepare poultry and meat, trim the fat and remove all of the skin before cooking. Next puree the well cooked meat or poultry in the blender. If the baby is almost a toddler, then you can cut the meat in tiny pieces for him to chew.
This may sound like plenty of work, but it is cost efficient and healthier for your baby. This is also how it was done in the old days, before there was baby food in the local grocery store. Mom would prepare the family’s food and separate the baby’s portion to prepare it with less seasoning. She would then have to mash, grind, or blend the food to be adequate for the baby to swallow. And, this is still the way that it is done in many countries.
Serving Tips for Your Baby
Serve the baby’s food at room or at warm temperature. Taste it if possible to make sure it is not too hot for the baby, especially if using a microwave to heat the food. Only serve the amount that you believe that your baby can eat. Throw away any leftover from the plate because you do not want to store in the refrigerator any mixture of bacteria from the saliva. Bacteria can grow very quickly on food.
Do not add sugar to the baby’s food, and never add syrup or honey because it may cause botulism. This is a type of food poisoning that can be fatal and these foods can be eaten when the child is older.
Lightly season the baby’s food. Babies can tolerate some seasoning and the baby food does not need to be bland.
Always refrigerate the baby food leftovers in a container. Try using the leftovers within 2 days. You may freeze the leftovers in freezer containers or freezer bags. Vegetables and fruits can be frozen in proper containers and can last up to eight months. Fish, meat, and poultry will last a couple of months in the freezer.
In conclusion, your baby will enjoy and learn to eat your home cooked meals, and this will be more beneficial to his nutrition. It is all a matter of dedicating one or two days of the week to prepare and store the food. You will not only save money on groceries, but you will also be providing the best food for your baby.