Many parents rely on big companies to create baby food that contains all of the necessary nutrition. Find out ways to make homemade baby food that is both healthy for your baby and the earth.
One reason parents prefer to make their own food is because they can know exactly what is in it. It can help determine and eliminate possible food allergies since there is no question about possible cross contamination that often occurs among big food companies. Making your baby’s food also allows you to be more picky as to what types of food your child is consuming, resulting in them developing an acquired taste that may be healthier for them and more specific to the types of meals you normally cook. Select organic produce from stores you trust to ensure your baby is not consuming any pesticides or other harmful materials. And another perk is that you’ll save more money in the long run.
If you are interested in making your own baby food, here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- If you would like to make some type of vegetable puree, start by steaming the vegetables to make them softer while still allowing them to maintain their nutrients. Then use a potato smasher or a food processor to grind them.
- If using fruits, buy fresh and organic, wash well and remove peels, cores and seeds. Then grind them into a puree.
- Bake, broil or stew meats (remove skin before serving meat and trim all visible fats). Use a blender and a small amount of liquid (water, breast milk or formula) in order to puree. Chop meat and poultry into tiny pieces for older infants.
- Avoid using canned fruits and vegetables or anything with added salt or sugar. Avoid adding any type of seasoning to your baby’s food as well.
- Never add honey to avoid possibly causing botulism.
- Use homemade refrigerated food within 48 hours after preparing.
- If making baby food in large quantities, put the food in ice cube trays, cover and freeze for later use. Be sure to date and label foods and use the refrigerator to thaw instead of putting the food out at room temperature.
- Do not use beets, turnips, collard greens or spinach to make baby food because they contain high amounts of nitrates.
If you find that making baby food may be too time consuming, then just buy organic and stay away from products with added salt or sugar and/or corn syrup and modified starch. Packaged baby food still contains a great amount of nutrients and vitamins, but if you prefer to make your own, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor in order to ensure the best nutrients for your baby and no allergy risks.
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Stephanie Siemek is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.