Baby food isn’t just for infants. Research shows that older babies and toddlers can benefit from certain fruits or vegetables. But you don’t have to introduce baby food to your baby right away. Making baby food is a creative, fun, and delicious way to eat healthier, and it’s a great activity to do with your older child and toddler as well.
What is baby food?
It is common knowledge that babies need to eat often, and they aren’t exactly old enough to have control over how much they eat. But what if your baby eats too much, causing tummy troubles? What should you do? Well, if your baby is vomiting after feedings, has diarrhea or gas, or has bad breath, follow up with your doctor to be sure there isn’t an underlying health issue. These signs could indicate a more serious problem, such as acid reflux or constipation. But, if your baby has none of these symptoms but continues to eat too much, consider switching to a baby food diet.
Making baby food is becoming more and more popular with parents, as they want to see their kids eating whole, nutritious foods as early as possible. When they’re still in the womb, it’s possible to prepare foods for babies, such as fruits, veggies, and meats. Once they’re born, however, you’ll need to puree these foods, making baby food purees. However, making baby food purees doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. The recipes you’ll find here make cooking baby food as easy as it can be because each recipe is kid-friendly and super simple.
How to get started:
You’ll want a baby food maker to get started making baby food. It’s designed to steam, puree, and cool down baby food in batch sizes that you can manage. Most models require the baby food to be mixed together before being loaded into the machine, but most models have a bowl that you can dump your mixture in. This bowl usually has a spout that will allow you to pour the food out onto a tray.
Making baby food is actually really easy, and since your baby will be eating their food exclusively for quite a while, why not make it great? While it’s easy to make baby food in batches and set it aside, you may find it easier to make small batches of food when your baby’s appetite is at its peak. (We suggest preparing two or three servings at a time and storing them in the fridge for a few days.)
Making baby food is a great idea since it allows you to feed your baby fresh foods and helps to lower costs. But, if you make homemade baby food, you need to make sure that you clean your hands before you touch the food since, certainly, you will touch meat, eggs, or fish that can harbor bacteria. And if you’re going to taste the food while cooking, use a fresh spoon—or wash it.
The best way to start introducing grains and or cereals to your baby is to serve them with breast milk. Your baby’s digestive system is not ready for solids until around six months old, and breast milk is still their best food. As soon as your baby is about six months old, you can begin to introduce whole-grain cereals and grains.
Since the vegetables and fruits are healthy, it’s tempting to eat them any way you can. But, before you squeeze and chop your way to a healthy meal, consider this: While cooking can sanitize them, it can also destroy some of the nutrients in the food. Instead, try raw vegetables or fruits; they retain their nutrients better and are easier to digest. When cooking fresh vegetables, peel them first. Then gently steam or boil them until tender, about 5 minutes for berries and 7-10 minutes for vegetables. Then process them in a food processor or blender until puréed. To retain their nutritional value, keep them raw or lightly cooked.
When cooking meat, it’s important to cool it completely before storing it. If you cool the meat right, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, if you cool it too far, then the bacteria will multiply and spoil the meat. To cool the meat safely, place it in the fridge immediately after you cook it. If the temperature is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you can cool it within 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the temperature will go down to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, safe to store for up to 3 days. Meats provide protein, iron, and B vitamins and calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and iron. Puréeing cooked poultry is an easy way to include these foods in your diet. Use a food processor or blender to purée foods, and then stir in broth, milk, or seasonings to flavor the purée.
How to add flavor
Baby’s taste buds are just starting to develop, and the best way to help your little one develops a healthy relationship with food is to serve it up without a lot of “extras.” Unseasoned chicken, fish, and pork are great options to start with, and plain, steamed veggies. Your baby needs creamy, unseasoned foods for the first few years of life. At home, you can use breast or formula milk or water. On the first foods, try mashed pureed fruit and vegetables. Then add more solid foods when your baby is 4-6 months old.
While carrots can be boring and sweet potatoes can be sweet, these root vegetables are packed with nutrients and are great staples to have on hand. But if you’re looking to find more ways to “spice up” your vegetables, you can also consider adding some healthy herbs. These spices add flavor and help increase bioavailability (how the body absorbs nutrients) of vitamins and certain minerals.
Food is so much more than just fuel for the body. It’s a universal language, a way to connect with those who share common interests in your life. But what often gets overlooked is how food can elevate moods, too. Food is not just what fills us up; it’s how we express ourselves. It can even impact our level of health and happiness.
Feeding your baby
As a new mom, you’re bombarded with numerous tips at what seems like every turn. Being armed with information will make you feel more confident and prepared to handle any health, safety, or parenting question that comes your way. I’ll never forget the first time my baby bit me—it could have been worse, but it certainly wasn’t fun.
Healthy hygiene is important throughout life but is especially important before you feed your baby. This is because bacteria from your hands can be transferred to your baby’s tummy if they touch their mouth or eyes when feeding.
Picnics and potlucks are fun ways to socialize and spend time with family and friends. But, eating foods that have been sitting out for substantial amounts of time can put you at risk for getting sick. It's especially important to keep track of the foods that have remained at room temperature the longest. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, and milk can quickly spoil if they remain at room temperature for more than two hours.
Your baby is growing up, and it’s time to stop making baby food. But you might be worried about how safe your baby’s food is as she gets older. Unfortunately, many store-bought baby foods contain additives, preservatives, and artificial colors, and while these additives won’t harm your baby right away, they may over time. And if you make your own baby food, it’s always important to follow safety guidelines to avoid harmful bacteria, such as salmonella or listeria. The good news is that making your own baby food isn’t hard—or expensive—and you can be sure your baby is eating food that is good for you and good for your baby.
Storing a baby food
You may think that homemade baby food is harder to make than store-bought, but it’s actually the opposite. Homemade baby food can be a simple addition to your family’s diet, and when prepared at home, you know exactly which ingredients are going into the food. It’s cheaper, too, since you don’t have to buy baby food from the store. And while making your own baby food may be time-consuming, there are some great tools that can make the process easier.
Storing baby food is easy. If your baby is eating solids, you’ll need to stock up on jars, and you can always buy plastic containers to store leftovers. Some parents have big families, so you’ll need a few different sizes. (The baby food jar sizes are the same as the jar sizes for canning.) In the kitchen, you can keep leftovers in the refrigerator, and if you’re putting jars in the freezer, make sure you label them so that you’ll know which ones have food in them and which don’t.
When making homemade baby food, do you wonder what I do with leftover baby food? Here are a few ideas:
1. Heat it up in the microwave.
2. Cool and freeze, then thaw and serve.
3. Reheat in sauce or soup.
Things to consider in making a baby food
When you are about to welcome a new member to the family, you may have already given a thought to what food you will feed your baby. After pregnancy, your body has undergone a lot of changes. And you’re also carrying another human being inside you. Hence, it is very important that you choose the right foods.
Making baby food can be a fun experience and also a convenient way to get important nutrients into your baby’s diet. To help prepare, there are a few things to consider before you get started, such as what you want to make, what kitchen tools you need, and the recipes to follow. Making a baby’s food at home is a popular and economical option. But, if you’re a first-time mom thinking about trying out this cooking method, there are a few things to consider. First, you’ll need to decide what you want to make—most recipes include instructions for making stewed, pureed, mashed, or strained baby food, depending on how your baby (and you) like to eat.
Making your own baby food is the best thing you can do for your baby. Once you hear the way your infant utters the name of his favorite food, you will be happy to know that your effort is paying off. Making baby food at home is more economical than buying ready-made ones. Out of all the baby food recipes available, the easiest ones are pressure-cooked ones. You can make a paste or puree of these ingredients in the pressure cooker. In today’s fast-paced life, we hardly have time to take care of ourselves. With work, kids, and social commitments, sometimes we barely have time to eat food. Nevertheless, it is very important to make baby food at home.
Before a baby arrives, there is always a long list of preparation items you need to take care of. However, one of the most overlooked is remembering to make baby food. Creating your own baby food not only is a great way to introduce new foods to your baby, but it can also save you money. Starting your child on solid foods is an exciting time! As parents, you are eager to introduce your baby to new flavors, and those little faces just light up with curiosity. However, many parents are afraid to give their babies solid foods because the thought instills fear in parents. As new parents, you must take a few crucial steps to ensure your baby is happy and healthy, and one of them is making baby food. Making baby food at home gives you complete control of your infant’s diet. You not only get to decide how much (if any) sugar goes into the food; you also have control of what types of foods are included. Most baby foods are too sweet for infants, and the canned baby food options add unnecessary sodium and preservatives.
Image source: drsmiths.com