Many people assume that making their own baby food at home will be expensive and time consuming, but this could not be further from the truth. There are benefits to making baby food at home instead of buying it premade, such as knowing the quality and ingredients of the food you are feeding your baby as well as the fact that it is easier and more cost effective than you think.
Most people make baby food using the same ingredients they are using to prepare for the rest of their family’s meal, so there is actually no additional cost involved. If you are ready to begin making your own baby food then here are four tips to help get you started.
Get the Right Equipment
In order to make baby food at home you will need a food processor or blender. There are many on the market to choose from, but that doesn’t mean you need to make an expensive purchase in order to begin making your own baby food. While there are blenders marketed specifically for making baby food, an inexpensive common household blender will also get the job done. Take the time to shop around and choose the blender or processor that is right for you and fits your budget.
Use Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Whenever Possible
Try to prepare fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible, as they are the most nutritious. It is important to use fresh produce within a couple of days of purchase to help minimize nitrate exposure. If you will not be able to prepare produce within the first few days of purchase then freeze them until you are ready to use them.
Cook Fruits and Vegetables to Soften Them
Bake, steam, or boil produce to soften it before pureeing it. Make sure to remove any seeds before pureeing or grinding the produce. To get the consistency right you may need to add a little breast milk, formula, or water to pureed foods. Portion out servings and freeze any that your baby will not eat right away.
Do Not Add Sweetener
It may be tempting to add some sugar to fruit purees to help sweeten them up, but babies don’t really need extra sugar so there is no need. Also be aware that adding honey or corn syrup to baby food can be extremely harmful as they can cause botulism in babies – an extremely dangerous form of food poisoning.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Spices
Baby food doesn’t have to be bland. While you want to avoid using sweetener, it is OK to add a little rosemary or parsley to your baby’s meal. Try to avoid spices that may burn or irritate your baby’s mouth, but otherwise feel free to experiment with some of your favorite spices. Pay attention to your baby’s reaction when he tastes a new flavor to determine which spices he likes and which he could do without.
Homemade baby food is a very economical choice when you serve baby the same foods you are serving the rest of your family. If you are unsure which foods to serve your baby, some good foods to start with include apples, bananas, blueberries, peaches, pears, plums, carrots, peas, potatoes, and squash.
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