To create your own homemade baby food, you don’t need to be a cooking expert. Your baby will most likely be ready for an exciting milestone around her half-birthday: her first mouthful of solid food!
There are a few different ways to introduce food to your kid. After the 6-month mark, some parents try baby-led weaning, which entails skipping the purées and introducing solids in the form of soft, gummable finger foods. Babies at this age are more likely to be able to self feed. Many opt to introduce solids to their infant by spoon-feeding mashed or puréed fruits, vegetables, cereals, and proteins. Purées (what you would think of as conventional “baby food”) can be offered a bit earlier because they are easy to swallow and feed on a spoon, generally between 4 and 6 months (but frequently closer to 6), depending on when your little one receives the green light from her pediatrician.
It’s also crucial to keep an eye out for potential food sensitivities, as well as giving meals that provide essential minerals like protein, iron, and zinc.
If your baby is ready for solid foods, there are many nutritional alternatives available at the store, such as iron-fortified cereal. And, if you make your own baby food, you’ll have even more options: You can utilise frozen vegetables and fruits canned in their own juices in addition to the fruits and vegetables available in the produce department.
You may either buy professionally prepared baby food or create your own purées from scratch if you opt to start with purées. Although both choices are healthful, many parents choose to make their own baby food because it offers them more control over what their child eats — and it may also save them money.
Making your own food allows you to introduce your baby to a wider range of flavours, which may encourage them to become more experimental eaters. Additionally, controlling additional sugars and salt gives you more control over your baby’s nutrition.
Written below is all you need to know about preparing baby food at home.
Start with only a few handmade ingredients if you want to make your own baby food but are intimidated by the notion. It’s a good idea to start by mashing an overripe avocado or banana. After your baby has responded well, you may try cooking nutrient-dense vegetables such as beets, broccoli, turnips, asparagus, spinach, blueberries, kale, mango, and papaya, which are not commonly seen in baby food aisles. Simply mash or puree the foods for your infant, and only introduce one new single ingredient item at a time.
Use seasonal ingredients or dishes you’re making for the rest of the family, but leave away the sugars, salt, and spices. Everyone in the family will be able to eat the same healthy foods, saving you time and effort.
You’ll need something to crush or purée your baby’s food to the proper consistency if you’re introducing solids as purées. One can make this with a mixer, food processor, or immersion blender, all of which you probably already have at home. You may even spend more money on nicer devices, such as those intended particularly for producing homemade baby food. This might involve the following:
- A food mill that is spun by hand (which usually has different blades for different textured foods)
- A grinder for infant food
- A strainer or a sieve
- Another all baby food maker (which steams the food before puréeing it)
One may go old school and use only a spoon, fork, or potato masher when cooking readily mashed items like avocados, bananas, or butternut squash. Maintain a high level of hygiene. Only use clean hands, utensils, cutting boards, and surfaces, as well as well-scrubbed and cleaned fruit.
To make baby’s food healthy and maintain the nutrients from fresh ingredients. Additional attention is required while making homemade baby food. Serve or refrigerate the dish as soon as possible once it’s been made. Refrigerate homemade baby food for one or two days or freeze it for one to two months in a sealed jar with a label and date. Because any food that is offered but not consumed must be discarded. Little quantities served in separate plates are perfect. Bacteria flourish in the mouth, therefore food should not be kept for later if a spoon enters into the baby’s mouth and then touches the food.