How To Make Homemade Baby Food
Did you know that many of the foods you prepare and servie to your family could be fed to you baby as well? You do not HAVE to buy baby food from the store. You can easily make your own.
Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegeatables can all be made into baby food with the use of a quality food processor. So can many thoughrally cook meats.
Breast Milk or Formula Till 6 Months
Doctors strongly suggest that breast milk or formula should be baby's main source of nutrition until 6 months. Before this time introducing solid foods is fine, but baby should be getting most meals from the bottle or breast.
Tasteful Love and Care Made At Home
Making your baby's food at home instead of buying canned jars at the store has many benefits. For one, you can take pride in knowing exactly what is in your baby's food because you are making it. Your homemade baby food is fresh and without perservatives or additives.
There are finacial benefits as well. A entire can of vegatables can cost the same amount as a small baby food jar of the same type. That can of food will go a lot further just in quanity to quantity. In addition, because you have the freedom of choosing how much or how little to feed using the ice cube method, there is less waste and less money going into the garbage.
Creating your own baby food will give you the freedom to tailor the foods for your babies needs. If your baby is allergic or sensitive to certian foods, you will have the sense of security knowing that without a doubt the only thing in the baby food is what you put in. No second guessing the ingridents of those mixed stage 2 and 3 meals in the baby food jars at the store.
Meats and high protien foods can be difficult on baby's developing tummy. Start with Fruits and veggies and hold off introducing meats until 6 to 8 months.
More Complex Meals As Baby Grows
Make foods appropriate for your baby's age and development. In the beggining stages of introducing solids, doctors suggest only one food should be introduced at a time per week. The reason for this is to identify if neccesary and foods your child may show sensitivities to.
As baby grows you can move on to combinations of foods or even 3 to 5 ingredient recipes. So long as the food has a low salt and acidic content, you could process so of the same meals the rest of your family is eating such as beef stew, chicken soup, and more..
4 Simple Steps
- Cook and Prepare foods to be used. Cooking vegetables and fruits is best done by steaming. Steaming foods has show to have the lowest amount of lost nutrients in comparison to boiling or baking. allow to cool in refrigerator
- Using a food processor, bring foods to desired blended texture. Pour into ice cube trays.
- Move frozen cubes to quart freezer bags
- Serve 1 to 3 food cubes. Microwave or warm in small pan on stovetop. Allow to cool completely before serving.
The Ice Cube Tray Method
The most common way of storing homemade baby food involves using ice cube trays. After the foods have been prepared and either strained, pureed, or blended to whatever consistency is best for your baby at their stage of development, pour the food blends into ice cube trays and freeze. After the food cubes are frozen, separate from tray and place into Freezer Quart bags.
How many cubes and the variety for each meal will be dependent on your babies age and stage of development. The benefit of using ice cube trays is that you can pick and choose what the meal will be using cubed portions and not entire jars. Freezing baby food in larger portions requires defrosting of larger portions that may not get used. Food should never be defrosted and the refrozen. This is why having small portions available, and just using more if necessary is so handy.
Homemade Baby Food Trays
While the cheapest way to save baby food is using ice cube trays, there is a more sanitary way to store homemade baby food. The problem with ice cube trays is that stuff can get caught in the tray. Using plastic wrap is helpful but using homemade baby food trays that are specifically designed to store the baby food and keep it protected.
Plus, with homemade baby food trays, you don't have to dump them into freezer bags unless that is how you want to stire them. If you'd rather just leave the food in the trays and serve right from them, thats okay too. The ones pictured to the right are for 2oz servings, are dishwasher safe, and can also be used to store breast milk.
Food Handling Tips
Before starting any food preparation wash hands in warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds. Wash hands after the handling of any raw meats. Wash hands at any time when they come in contact with germs. ie: telephone, remote control, step stool, etc.
Pull out any pots, pans, steamers, or cooking utensils and be sure that they are clean
Place any frozen food in the freezer to be thawed. Do not thaw foods at room temperature. If faster thawing is necessary use a microwave or place under cold running water
All Fruits and vegetables should be washed under cold tap water.
Do not prepare raw meats using the same cutting board or surface as fruits and vegetables. The juices from raw meats should be cleaned up immediately after the meat preparation has been finished. Everything that came in contact with the raw meat should be washed thoroughly with hot soapy water.
Invest in plastic, rubber or glass cutting boards. Juices from raw meats can soak into wooden cutting boards and contaminate fruits, vegetables, and other meats.
Be sure that all foods are being cooked completely. When cooking meats, use a meat thermometer.
Use paper towels whenever possible. Germs can live in sponges and cloth towels. Whenever cloth towels are used they should be clean. Do not clean up anything using the same towel used to clean up raw meats. Purchase kitchen antibacterial wipes or wipe counter tops down with a diluted bleach/water mix.
Considering The Money Saved By Not Buying Jar Baby Food, A Food Processor Will Pay For Itself
Single Ingredient Baby Foods
Single Ingredient foods are best for starting baby on solids. Later, they can be used as sides to the more complex multiple homemade foods.
Vegetables(serve cooked until baby is 12 months)
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potato
Fruits(serve cooked up to 8 months of age. Exception: Avocados and bananas do not need to be cooked.)
After introduction with single ingredient foods, if no signs of sensitivities are shown you can begin making meals more fun by creating combination foods such as apples and pears. Foods listed about are suggestions. Experiment with in season foods when available.
Homemade Baby Food Recipe Books
When you feel your baby has mastered single ingredient foods and dual ingredient foods you can begin to introduce meals.
Meal foods can be specifically prepared for baby, or can be the same things you fix for the rest of your family.
Chicken soup, beef stew, chicken and dumplings, and more will entertain your baby's taste buds. Blend to desired consistency using your food processor. Set aside one serving for that nights dinner and freeze the rest. For combination food recipes consider purchasing a homemade baby food book you may also find some great recipes by visiting the links below.
Use It Or Lose It
- Frozen homemade baby food should be used within 2 months
- Defrosted baby food should be used within 72 hours
- Always toss out any leftover baby food that has been directly fed to baby. Refrigerate any left over that has not come in contact with baby or feeding spoon and use as soon as possible.
- Do not refreeze any unused portions.