Is your baby ready for solids? It’s cheaper and healthier to make your own baby food. You can use fresh, organic ingredients and minimize his exposure to salt and other preservatives. Plus, you can develop his tastebuds by offering different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Here are some tips.
You can invest in a baby food mill but a hand blender works well, too. You will also need a steamer (you lose too many nutrients when you boil food) and ice tray, so you can freeze food in baby-portions. Use BPA-free silicone trays or breastmilk storage trays.
Begin with a single grain cereal or any of these fun first foods: apples, pears, papaya, banana, or squash.
Introduce your baby to food one at a time for 4 days at a time. This will allow you to watch for any possible allergic reactions. Once the food has passed the 4-day rule, feel free to mix it in with other food.
Don’t putt salt, sugar, or butter or other flavor enhancers. Your baby should be introduced to the tastes and textures of fresh food in its natural state. (Read about some of the best veggies for babies.)
Cook meals in batches. This way, you only prepare food once in a while and have options for mixing and matching later. Just freeze in ice trays and cover them with cling wrap to avoid contamination, especially in a shared freezer. Aluminum foil is not recommended, as foil shards can sometimes get mixed in the food. And remember some foods lose texture or color when frozen. Bananas, cucumbers, coconuts, eggs, and pasta are best served fresh.
Pop out the cubes and store in air-tight containers. Label each container with the name of the food and the date you prepared it. Frozen baby food typically lasts up to one month. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or microwave before serving. Stir and cool thoroughly to avoid hot pockets when using the microwave.
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