A Beginners Guide To Making Homemade Baby Food
Making homemade baby food is not difficult. It is economically friendly and healthier than purchasing commercially prepared food for your baby.
Baby food recipes range from puree to recipes incorporating table food into recipes for baby. It takes less time than you think that to make fresh, healthy baby food.
Making homemade food assures you and your baby no preservatives are used and baby is merely getting nutritious and attractive food.
Things to Consider when Making Homemade Baby Food plan
Before making homemade Baby food for your baby, consult your pediatrician, especially if this is often the primary somewhat solid food the baby is going to be eating.
Your pediatrician will suggest foods to introduce to the baby and what foods should be eaten at specific ages or signs of maturing.
If you choose fruits, vegetables, and meat you like; your pediatrician may suggest better alternatives for different age groups.
Unless your baby displays a serious reaction to a certain food the first time they experience it, offer the baby the same food 4 days in a row.
This method will allow time for a food allergy to manifest and will help determine the food the baby likes and dislikes.
There will be some foods the baby will refuse to eat because of its taste, texture or smell, or even a combination of the three. It is not important for a baby to like everything offered.
It is important the baby gets the right food with the proper nutrients. It is never a good idea to introduce a baby to more than one new food at a time for allergy discovering purposes.
Preparing the food ahead of time will be a tremendous time-saver. A large quantity of food can be frozen in individual containers for future use.
For example, the food can be frozen in ice cube trays and then transferred to another container for continued freezing. That method gives you baby food in easy to serve portions.
The frozen portions will thaw quickly when set out on the counter or thawed in a microwave or submerging the container of hot water.
Precautions to take when making Homemade Baby Food
When preparing homemade baby food, always make sure your hands are clean, as well as the food preparation surface, pots or pans, and cooking utensils.
Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before preparing the baby food, and if the meat is being prepared, rinse the meat with room temperature water.
Always be sure the baby food containers are clean and sterilized for baby’s protection.
Always put a date on the homemade baby food container and store it properly. Refrigerate or freeze the baby food for future use, after preparation.
Freeze the baby food in small quantities and only thaw one portion at a time. Do not refreeze any leftover baby food. After a feeding session, any homemade baby food left within the dish should be discarded.
When serving baby food, make sure the food is room temperature to slightly warm.
If the food is heated in a microwave, stir the food thoroughly to make sure there are no hot spots that could potentially burn your baby’s mouth.
5 Reasons to Make Your homemade Baby Food
Many parents feed their infant’s store-bought baby food, and why not? They are convenient, cheap, and come in an assortment of flavors for a baby to enjoy.
When I was pregnant with our first son, I decided to do some research about the food I would be putting into his mouth when the time came. I drew some interesting conclusions.
For a mom that is exhausted from frequent feedings and diaper changes, it’s easy to aim for options that are both quick and convenient.
While we definitely deserve rest and quality ‘me time’, a few extra minutes to purée won’t only save money and time in the long run, but also help our babies to grow healthy and strong, and develop a pallet for the food they will soon be eating in solid form.
Better Health Choice
Our babies deserve a great quality of life, but it’s hard to monitor what we’re putting into their bodies when their food has been through a few hands before reaching our grocery basket.
When you make your own homemade baby food using fresh fruits, vegetables, and more, you know exactly what you’re putting into them.
Unfortunately, store-bought baby food contains less than a fifth of the recommended amount of Calcium, Zinc, and Magnesium. Jarred food is cooked at high temperatures to kill the bacteria.
That’s partly how they make it possible to store them on shelves for so long. Some see this as a negative thing because many of the nutrients in the food are lost as a result.
While small jars of baby food seem cheap at first glance, the money really adds up.
The quantities that babies eat can vary each day, and jars that come in standard sizes can’t accommodate for that. With homemade baby food, you decide how much to store and serve.
If ingredients are on sale, you can buy in bulk prepare and freeze them to serve weeks later.
Whether you’re reusing plastic bags, containers, or glass jars, you can easily store your own food without having a pile of containers from the store with every grocery run.
If you’re used to throwing away jars once the baby is fed, consider how much better homemade baby food is for the environment. You can make food, and easily store them in reusable containers. Once they’re empty, the next batch is good to go.
More Authentic Flavours
If you have time, it’s fun to check out the difference in taste for yourself. Jarred fruits, vegetables, and meats are both different in texture and flavor than the real thing.
Most brands can’t compare to the real deal, and you can’t blame the manufacturers. There’s a reason those foods can last a long time without being refrigerated!
Easier to Transition to Solids
If a baby is used to eating jarred food, it’ll be quite the transition to get them to make the switch to the food you eat on a regular basis.
By ten months old, our son could eat bits of meat and veggies from our plates because he had already tasted them in puréed form.
The Baby Food Process
After rice-based cereal, your baby will most likely move on to pureed fruits, vegetables, and meat.
Until you know what your baby will like, buy small quantities of fruits, vegetables, and meat unless other family members consume lots of fruits, vegetables, and meat.
After proper washing cut the fruit and vegetables in half and either boil, steam, or bake them.
If they are baked, place those in a baking dish with enough water to almost cover the dish contents. Vegetables and fruit can be peeled before or after cooking.
Small vegetables such as corn, peas, and lima beans do not need to be halved. Bananas can just be mashed and not cooked at all unless that is your preference.
Frozen peas are much easier to organize than fresh peas. If preparing meat, make sure all traces of fat are removed and when cooked, make sure the meat is well done with no trace of pink.
Bake the fruits and vegetables for about an hour at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) or until they are soft.
During the cooking process make sure there is sufficient water in the dish to avoid burning the fruits and vegetables and add water if necessary.
When the fruits and vegetables are baked, take the dish out of the oven and let cool. Peel the fruits and vegetables, if not already peeled, after they have cooled. Cook the meat until there’s no pink showing.
Place the cooled fruit or vegetable during a kitchen appliance for pureeing. Add water to the mixture until the appropriate consistency is reached.
If you add too much water, dry baby cereal can be added to thicken it up. If a food processor is not available, a hand mixer or a meat grinder will suffice or in the event a mechanical means is not available, mash the fruits and vegetables with a fork until there are no lumps present.
That method will be very time-consuming.
The food should be very thin for babies beginning to eat solid food, and as they grow older and have some solid food eating under their belt, the food can be made a little thicker.
As the baby ages, the fruits and vegetables will just have to be chopped into small pieces rather than mashed or pureed.
Once you know what kind of fruits and vegetables your baby likes, you can mix different flavors together such as bananas and peaches or peas and squash.
Using Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the benefit of, or with a limited amount of, synthetic material, such as pesticides or other chemicals.
Organic baby food is grown according to regulations and certified and labeled as organically grown.
Food Organically grown develops antioxidants to protect themselves against garden pests and, as a result, develop into a vegetable or fruit with higher levels of antioxidants.
That means the fruits and vegetables are richer in minerals, vitamins, and other pro-health nutrients.
Eating organically is not just for mom and dad, but baby too. Making organic baby food will assure you your baby is getting the real deal.
Who is to say a jar of baby food marked as organic is really organic? Organic fruits and vegetables were once only available in health food stores, or they were homegrown.
Today, organic food of every kind is available not only in specialty stores but the average, everyday grocery store.
Organic food is prepared in the same way as any other food. They can be steamed, boiled, or baked and then mashed or pureed.
As the baby gets older, food can be cut into small, bite-size pieces, making it finger food babies can eat on their own.
What Age Should Babies Begin To Eat Solid Foods?
When the baby is anywhere between 4 or 6 months old, you can feed them cereal and rice mixed with formula or breast milk.
When the baby is 7 months old, you can begin feeding them small pieces of vegetables. At 8 months, small pieces of fruit are acceptable.
At 10 months, you can begin feeding the baby small pieces of egg yolks and meats. When your baby is 10 months old or older, you can begin feeding them dairy products such as yogurt or cheese.
Food Recipes for Babies
What you need: Half a cup of cubed cooked meat and 3 to 4 tablespoons of water.
How to Cook: Mash them and mix them until they are smooth.
Age Requirement to Eat:10 months or older.
What you Need: A quarter cup of rolled oats and baby formula or breast milk; a third of a whole banana and half cup of formula or breast milk.
How to Cook: 1. Combine the half cup of baby formula or breast milk with the oats. Boil it and simmer for about 5 minutes.
2. When that is happening, combine the banana with and the quarter cup of baby formula or breast milk and mash them together.
3. Then, combine the oatmeal and banana.
Age Requirement to Eat: homemade baby food recipes 4-6 months
Vegetable(s): baby food recipes 7 months
What you Need: Canned vegetables or fresh vegetables.
How to Cook:
1. If you are using fresh vegetables, make sure to clean them thoroughly.
2. To cook them, use a small amount of water and cook at low heat. After they have been cooked, mash it and let it cool.
These are some combinations of vegetables that can be mixed for a healthy and tasty meal for your baby:
Peas and carrots
Peas and green beans
Mashed potatoes and green beans
Squash and sweet potatoes
Mashed potatoes and carrots
Age Requirement to Eat: 7 months or older.
Yogurt and Fruit:
What you Need: A quarter cup of cooked fruit and plain yogurt.
How to Cook: Combine and mash them together.
Age Requirement to Eat: 10 months or older.
Meat Dinners: What you Need: A quarter cup of cooked vegetables; baby formula or breast milk; rice, potato or enriched macaroni; and a half cup of cooked meat.
How to Cook: Mash them together or blend them. Make sure that only a few lumps are left.
These are some food combinations:
Rice, chicken, and carrots
Potatoes, liver, and green beans
Potatoes, beef, and peas
Macaroni, beef, and squash
Age Requirement to Eat: 10 months or older.
What you need: Half a cup of rolled oats or mashed potatoes and pork or lean ground beef.
How to Cook: 1. Thoroughly mix the potatoes or oatmeal with the meat.
2. Begin forming meatballs (about 1 inch in diameter).
3. Place them on a baking sheet, then place them in the oven to cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
4. Once done, drain the fat and let them cool.
Age Requirement to Eat: 10 months or older.
What you feed your baby is very important for their health. Baby food products at the stores are good, however, they contain a lot of sugar and starch. If you want the food to be more natural, create your own baby food with fresh ingredients.
The Bottom Line
If you have ever read the label of baby food bought at the grocery store, you will find some ingredients you have never heard of before, and some you will not be able to pronounce.
I like to make my own homemade food. It gives me the ability to control the ingredients and the quality of the food.
Another benefit of making baby food is cost. It is far less costly to make baby food than to buy it by the jars, especially since the ingredients can be purchased in bulk and in season. Making homemade baby food will even be less costly if the ingredients are homegrown.