As parents, we have to make millions of decisions for our children. Some are mundane, like whether or not to get their hair cut; others are much more important. What we feed our children is one of the most important; we want them to not only be strong and healthy now but to develop habits that will make them strong and healthy for life. Making your own baby food for your baby or for food gifts is ideal because you know each and every ingredient that goes into it. You know you are filling your child up with nutrients and not excess sugar or salt. And you can save a lot of money!
To make your own baby food, you will need:
Homemade baby food is easy to make. After thoroughly washing the food, such as carrots, you cook it by steaming or boiling it until it is very tender. Save some of the water in which you boiled the carrots, and add it to the carrots to help you mash them. Depending on your baby's age, you can make it very smooth or leave some texture. For younger babies, you can also add a bit of breast milk or prepared formula in place of the water. As baby grows, you can use less liquid and start making the food have a firmer texture or more chunks.
Grains can be ground in a mill after cooking, and grains like brown rice and quinoa can be used as finger foods for older children. To make meat dishes, remove fat and skin and cook thoroughly. Once prepared, the meat can be pureed and mixed with a little liquid for younger babies or cut into very small pieces for older babies.
When serving homemade baby food, make sure it is no warmer than body temperature. Make sure the foods are evenly cooked by mashing and mixing them thoroughly and testing the temperature first. This is especially important if you are microwaving foods.
Start with one food, and as your child shows that he will eat it and that he tolerates it, you can add other foods. It is a gradual process, but it is one that is giving your child a healthy start in life.
Making your own homemade baby food is great on several levels: not only is it healthier and less expensive, it also introduces your child to the concept of eating the same foods as the rest of the family. You don't have to open a jar of strained peas for baby while your family eats chicken stir-fry, for instance. You can simply take a few more minutes and prepare healthy, real baby food. Just skip the corn syrup-based sauces – for baby and for the rest of the family!