Baby food is whole food, pureed. That’s it. Processed baby food can be expensive. It’s certainly not essential to purchase baby food in tiny glass jars. Jars of baby food found on grocer shelves are convenient when you’re out and about, but I never relied on them. I always made my own baby food.
Homemade baby food can be made from the food you feed your family, if you cook with whole foods. You’ll want to use fresh organic produce. Use a blender or a baby food grinder to pureed the food to the desired consistency. Some soft foods like cooked yams, peas, or bananas can be mashed with a fork.
Baby food grinders are perfect for single servings. If you want to stock up, use a blender. You may have to add some liquid.
Katelyn is hungry…YUMMY
Then freeze in ice cube trays. After the food is frozen, remove and store in plastic freezer bags. A serving can be popped out of the ice cube tray or the plastic bag and defrosted. Refrigerate leftovers that you will use in a day or two. Only dish out the amount of food you think your baby will eat at one feeding. You’ll need to toss leftovers which you dipped the baby spoon. Your baby’s saliva will get into the mixture and make it easy for bacteria to grow in the food.
NEVER sweeten your baby’s food. Babies don’t need any sugar. Never use honey or corn sweetener, which can cause botulism (a potentially fatal form of food poisoning) for babies under 12 months. Serve the food no warmer than body temperature. I don’t recommend heating any food in a microwave, but if you use one be sure that baby food doesn’t contain hot spots, that’s areas of the food that are much hotter than others. Always stir microwaved food well and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
Preparing Baby Food
After washing, cook vegetables and fruits (like apples and prunes which need to be softened). Bake, boil, or steam the produce until it’s soft. If you boil the food, use as little liquid as possible and add some of the leftover liquid when mashing the food. Peel and pit the produce if necessary and strain out any seeds. Some fruits and vegetables don’t require any liquid. Simply mash and serve. For others, you may want to add a little liquid (breast milk, formula, or cooking water) as you puree or grind to get the consistency you want. As your baby adapts to solid foods, you can add less liquid.
Grains (like quinoa or millet) and meats (like beef and chicken) can also be pureed or ground in a food mill. Obviously, you’ll cook grains and meats first.
To prepare meat and poultry, remove the skin and trim the fat before cooking. Then puree the cooked meat in a blender or grind it up in a food mill with a little liquid. For older babies, simply chop the meat into very small pieces. Soups and stews, for example, can be processed and fed to your baby. The same goes for most healthy foods your family might eat. Pack empty baby food jars with extra so you’ll have a meal for the next day.
Do you know the finger food which is very often the first offered to babies? It’s a French fry…loaded with transfat and often MSG. Give your baby whole-food, finger foods. For older babies, you can grate produce like apples, carrots and zucchini. They love to pick the food up with their fingers. Baby peas also make a wonderful finger food. Cut up tiny pieces of soft avocado, banana, or a stone fruit like a peach. Whole grains make fabulous finger foods.