Making Healthy Baby Foods for Your Baby
You may have the idea that making fresh, homemade food for your baby is much too time-consuming for your busy life, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Once you understand the incredible benefits your baby will reap from eating healthy foods, the little bit of extra effort will seem more than worth it. In fact, once you start making your baby's foods from wholesome foods, you will find that one hour a week is all it takes to keep a stocked up freezer full of healthy baby foods.
Before You Begin Making Baby Food
It is always important to consult your child's pediatrician before you begin introducing new foods to your baby. Most pediatricians follow the four-day wait rule when introducing new foods to infants. This involves offering your baby the same new food for four days in a row to ensure he or she does not have any allergies to the food. By introducing one new food at a time, you give your baby's system time to adapt and adjust. Although it may seem self-evident it is imperative that you always, always use clean hands, prep surfaces, pots, pans and utensils when making your baby's food. Also remember that your baby has his own likes and dislikes, and may or may not like some foods and textures. Patience is certainly a virtue when introducing new foods to your baby. Just because he or she refuses the food one day does not necessarily mean he will feel the same on another day. Most experts agree that it can take the average infant between 15 to 21 times of trying a food to establish a true like or dislike, and freezing pureed food allows you to return to previously rejected foods and try again.
Blending Your Baby's Food
Really all you need to puree baby food is a blender or food processor. Simply cook the baby's food, let it cool, put it into the blender and puree. Adding formula or mother's milk will allow you to get the food to the perfect consistency and will also give your baby's food a substantial nutrition boost. Creativity is key when pureeing baby food, so don't be afraid to mix sweet potatoes with apples or any other combination of likely foods. When cooking vegetables or fruit, you can use a steamer, bake in the oven, microwave or boil on the stovetop, although steaming keeps the largest amount of nutrients intact. The liquids should be added to the puree either before you freeze them, or after they are frozen, when you are thawing to eat. Other than breast milk or formula, you can also use the cooking water to thin the puree as it contains many valuable nutrients. Remember not to overfill your blender or food processor for the best results.
Freezing the Pureed Baby Foods
Although it may seem like a good idea, you should not ever freeze homemade baby food in glass that does not state specifically that it is safe to freeze-baby food jars being a good example of glass that is not safe to freeze. Simple ice cube trays work the best for freezing pureed baby food; fill the tray with the pureed food and cover with plastic, then pop it into the freezer. Tupperware also makes a nice ice cube tray with a lid if you prefer this to constantly messing with plastic wrap. Each individual cube equals approximately one ounce of baby food. When the cubes are frozen solid, you can transfer them into a large or small freezer bag, labeling the bag with the type of food as well as the date it was prepared. Once it is time to feed your baby, simply remove the cubes of food needed, thaw, reheat, and voila! Your baby consistently gets healthful foods and you can feel good knowing you prepared them specially.
What Foods to Try For Your Baby
Most babies like fruits and vegetables which are yellow or orange in color such as carrots, bananas and mild types of squash best and have mixed reactions to the vegetables which are green. Babies also appreciate it when you vary the flavors and textures of their foods, however remember to avoid honey, eggs, strawberries, tomatoes, citrus and nuts until your baby is at least a year old. Also note that some foods such as beets and carrots as well as greens can contain nitrites which in turn cause anemia. Because of the nitrite issue, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents not to feed these particular vegetables to babies until they are 4-6 months old.