When it’s already time for a baby to eat solid food, many parents may hit the grocery stores to check on the wide selection of feeding gears, and ready to eat foods for their little one. But before you immerse yourself in the task of choosing the right baby food, it is important that you talk with your child’s doctor first. Many doctors don’t usually recommend giving foods like fish and eggs during the first year. This is usually recommended for babies with a family history of allergies.
Although commercial baby food may seem convenient, some parents would rather make homemade food for their baby. There are parents who feel at ease with the thought that they know exactly what goes inside their baby’s mouth. It also gives them the freedom to choose the kind of food that they want to feed their baby. And by doing so, babies may also get accustomed to the taste and texture of table food, which they will eventually eat.
You don’t really need to be an expert in the kitchen to make baby food for your baby. Here are the processes needed in making homemade baby food:
1. Choosing the ingredients needed. You really don’t have to be fancy in coming up with tasty combinations of fruits or vegetables in the beginning. Babies need time to adjust to new tastes, and it may be good to space a week each time you try to introduce new foods. And by doing so, you can also easily identify any allergies or reactions that your baby has for a particular type of food.
Many experts usually recommend that a baby is started with whole grains followed by vegetables and fruits. This is recommended because vegetables generally have greater iron content as compared to fruits. After a few months, you need to make sure that your baby’s diet has a combination of nutrients from all the food groups including meats or fish.
2. Manner of cooking. Commercial baby food is cooked in very high temperatures to make sure that it is free from any harmful bacteria. And in the process, nutrients and vitamins are also lost. Although you can choose from various cooking processes, it is through steaming and microwaving that most of the nutrients are preserved. Bear in mind that it may be unnecessary to add seasoning or even sugar because babies don’t really need more sugar or salt in their diet.
3. Grinding or mashing. You really don’t need to purchase new kitchen equipment if you already have a blender or a food processor. These trusty appliances can do a good job in changing the consistency of cooked food into one that can be well tolerated by babies. You may add liquid in the form of formula, breast milk or a little amount of water. This is to attain the desired consistency similar to that of commercially prepared baby food.
4. Proper storing. Homemade baby food may spoil quicker as compared to its commercial counterparts. Hence, it should be frozen to prevent spoiling. Use airtight containers that are appropriately sized for a single serving only. The principle in serving baby food is to transfer the needed amount in a saucer to prevent contamination.
5. Reheating. It is quite convenient to reheat baby food in the microwave, but you have to make sure that it is already cool before serving. Microwave heats food unevenly and it is very important that you allow it to cool down to the right temperature.
Making baby food at home may require more time and effort, but it gives you the assurance that you know what your baby is eating. If you get used to the idea of making an effort in preparing nutritious meals for your baby, it may no longer be difficult to prepare healthy meals for the entire family as well.