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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!

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How to Make Your Own Baby Food

 

 

 

 

By Helen Wright

 

The list of unfamiliar food additives code numbers on commercially prepared baby food is really scary! They are full of chemically modified starches, food dyes, thickening agents, artificial additives and preservatives.

 

Homemade baby food made from fresh wholesome ingredients give your baby far more superior nutrition than store bought ones. It also allows your baby to taste various flavors and textures.

 

Homemade quality encourages a taste for simple, natural unprocessed foods – a taste that will possibly prevent childhood obesity in growing years. Making homemade baby food is so easy even busy moms can do it. You don't need complicated equipment, perhaps a blender, a food mill, a steamer basket and ice cube trays if you want to freeze small portions.

 

Steamer baskets can be found in most grocery stores for only a few dollars, and fit easily into most saucepans. Many infant foods require nothing more than a small pan and a fork. MunchKin baby food grinder, which I got for $10.97 online, is really useful for making homemade baby food.

 

 

How Do I Make Homemade Baby Food?

Keep in mind that most pediatricians say not to introduce solid foods to your baby's diet any earlier than 4 months, and usually not until 5 to 7 months. Your baby's digestive system cannot handle solid foods before that.

 

However, you should always consult your baby’s pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby. Avoid any suggested foods that may pose an allergy risk for your baby.

 

 

1. Always wash, scrub and rinse your hands with hot water and soap, and dry with a clean towel before preparing your baby’s food.

 

 

2. Scrub all equipment and working surfaces with hot water and soap thoroughly. I use a separate cutting board for baby's food.

 

 

3. Prepare fresh fruits and vegetables by scrubbing, peeling and removing pits or seeds. Your baby's immune system is in developing stages so it's wise to discard any that are not fresh.

 

Know that high-nitrate vegetables such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, collard greens, lettuce, spinach and turnips should not be fed to babies in large quantities. The naturally occurring nitrates in these vegetables can change to nitrites, which bind iron in the blood and make it difficult to carry oxygen.

 

Babies who ingest too many nitrates can develop a medical condition called Methemoglobinema, a type of anemia. This can make breathing difficult and cause the skin to turn blue. That's a really good reason to use organic fruits and vegetables when you want to make baby food. Farms that grow organic fruits and vegetables don't use fertilizers that contain nitrates.

 

 

4. If you use meats, remove all bones, skin, gristle, connective tissues and fat. Stew all meats in water until thoroughly cooked and soft. Then use the water to puree them.

 

 

5. Don't use leftovers to make baby food. When possible, always use fresh produce.

 

 

6. Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables may also be pureed and used, but when using commercially processed canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, a;ways check the ingredient label. Some canned vegetables may be high in sodium and additives.

 

Frozen vegetables are often suitable but read labels to be sure nothing has been added. Make sure  you do not add extra sugar, salt, spices and fat to your baby’s diet.

 

 

7. Bake, steam or cook food in small amount of water until tender. The amount of liquid is important in making baby food. The general rule of thumb is the less water used, the more nutrients remain in the food.

 

Steaming and microwaving vegetables and fruits is preferable to boiling because these cooking methods preserve as many nutrients as possible.

 

 

8. Puree or mash cooked food. Puree means to put food through a sieve, grinder, blender, food processor to make the food into a liquid-like, smooth texture. Some foods, like ripe bananas, can be mashed or pureed easily with a fork and do not need to be precooked.

 

Test for smoothness by rubbing a small amount between your fingers. If pureed foods are too thick, thin them out to desired consistency with the water leftover from steaming, fruit juice or just water. You can also thin with breast milk or formula.

 

 

9. If pureed food is not being used right away, refrigerate quickly. Package, date and label foods for refrigerator or freezer storage. Store cooled pureed food in clean Ziploc bags or plastic bags in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.

 

 

Once the homemade baby food is thawed and used at mealtime, discard any leftovers to prevent the formation of bacteria. Babies get saliva in their food when they eat, and this will make it easier for bacteria to grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

how do i make homemade baby food

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