Starting with Homemade Baby Food
Introducing solid foods into your baby’s eating plan is a big first step. Choosing to make homemade baby foods is a great way to help your baby grow into a strong eater who is eating healthy and nutritious foods. Prepared baby foods have been processed with sugars, starchy fillers and added water. While these products aren’t completely nutritionally bad for your baby, they aren’t the first foods that you should be feeding your little guy. You want to give your baby the best start in life that you can, and this includes providing the best types of foods that you’re feeding him.
Fresh Foods are Best
Even though your baby’s palate isn’t yet as refined as yours, he still enjoys and responds to the smell, color, and taste of fresh foods. Take advantage of the huge availability of fresh produce in your local grocery stores and make your own baby food at home. Preparing homemade baby food doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. There’s no reason that your baby shouldn’t be enjoying fresh baby foods right from the start so that he can appreciate tasting all those new flavors.
Wide Variety of Foods
As well as the wide availability of fresh foods, your baby will enjoy much more variety if you make baby food yourself. Prepared baby foods are limited in their variety since they cater to the general market. This baby food market tends to favor the same simple types of foods, such as apples, squash, and rice cereal. There’s no need to limit your baby to what food manufacturer’s think are the most popular baby foods. Preparing homemade baby food allows you to combine flavors and add a few herbs to your baby’s food so that his mealtime is a fun and exciting experience.
Homemade Baby Food Costs Less
Cost is another reason that you might want to consider making your own baby food. Prepared baby food is expensive. Just think of how many jars of baby food you’ll be buying in one year. Making your own food is extremely cost-effective and allows you to buy fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. You get to control what goes into your baby’s food and this allows you to nurture eating habits that are healthy and positive.
What You Need to Make Baby Food
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of making your own baby food. There isn’t any special equipment that you’ll need to buy. All you really need are the following items:
- A food processor or blender to blend, mash, and puree foods.
- A grinder to take with you so that you can prepare baby food on the go.
- Ice cube trays so that you can freeze one-ounce cubes of food.
- Freezer bags to store the cubes of food that you’ve frozen.
- A colander and strainer to mash and strain foods to a fine puree.
Another thing that you need when you make baby food is time. It’s going to take you a bit of time to prepare and package these little servings of food for your baby.
This is why so many mothers don’t bother and instead rely on prepared foods. However, when you consider the benefits to your baby’s health, the time spent is going to be well worth it.
Avoiding Some Foods
The types of foods that you feed your baby will be dependent on his age. There are some foods that you’ll need to avoid giving your baby until he’s over the age of one.
This includes honey, egg whites, beets, spinach, acidic fruits and turnip greens. There are also some foods that you shouldn’t give to your baby until he’s over the age of two.
This includes popcorn, nuts, peanut butter, raisins, and unpeeled fruits and vegetables. Whenever possible try to buy organic fruits and vegetables.
Good Foods to Start With
There are some good foods to start with when you’re first introducing your baby to solid foods for fruits this includes apples, apricots, blueberries, bananas, pears, plums, and prunes.
For vegetables, this includes avocados, carrots, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash. Don’t feel that you have to limit yourself to these foods.
As your baby’s palate starts to grow you’ll be able to introduce him to a wide variety of other foods. The more foods he tries the more adventurous he’s going to be with his eating and the more adventurous he is the healthier his eating habits are going to be.
It’s Not All or Nothing
Don’t feel that you have to make everything homemade. You’ll want to keep some prepared foods and snacks on hand for when you travel or for an emergency.
There are some good natural and organic baby foods on the market that are good options for you to use. Don’t get obsessed with making homemade baby food for everything that is going into your baby’s mouth.
Just doing what you can is going to make all the difference in your baby’s healthy good start to food.