Making your own baby food at home can be an exciting and fun process. There are many benefits to making your own baby food as well. Contrary to popular belief, making your own baby food can be inexpensive.
When your baby is ready to start incorporating solids into their diet, this is the perfect way to introduce new foods, flavors, and get them used to eating what the rest of your family is eating too. Babies can normally start having solids when they are around 4 to 6 months old, but it is always the best idea to ask your pediatrician for clearance.
There are several commercialized at-home baby food making tools such as blenders, mills, mashers all specifically for making your own baby food. However, if you do not want to make an investment into a kitchen gadget, you can simply use a fork, potato masher, or another utensil for mashing.
How To Prepare Your Own Baby Food
Before starting the process, please make sure any cookware, utensils, surfaces, and your hands are clean and free of germs. If you are planning on using produce such as apples or sweet potatoes, please make sure those are washed as you normally would before consuming them. Of course, you will want to remove any seeds, peels, pits, etc. from the produce. Herbs and spices such as cinnamon can be added to enhance the flavor, but be sure to ask your pediatrician before incorporating any herbs and spices. Things such as salt, pepper, butter, or sugars should not be added to any baby food.
1: Peel the apple(s), remove the seeds and core, and then cut into small pieces
2: Put the small apple pieces into a pot and fill with water until the apple pieces are completely underwater
3: Boil/steam until tender, check the water level and stir frequently
4: Apples may be mashed with a potato masher or fork until they have an applesauce-like consistency. If your masher or fork does not achieve a puree type of consistency, then follow steps 5-7
5: Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the apples
6: Place the boiled or steamed apples into a food processor, blender, or other appliance to puree the fruit
7: Add the reserved water as needed to achieve a thin puree
Any grains or baby cereals will need to be ground first and then cooked as directed. Liquids such as water or breast milk can be added to thin out the grains as needed.
Meat and poultry should be trimmed of any fat or skin and remove the bones. Meat and poultry can be cooked, pureed, and added to vegetable purees that your baby already loves such as peas or sweet potatoes.
Storing Homemade Baby Food
Baby food will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 3 months. For easy serving, store baby food in single serving containers or silicone ice cube trays. Pop the single serving into the microwave and defrost, or place the baby food in the fridge to defrost overnight the prior day. Never refreeze food once it has been thawed.
Benefits of Making your Own Baby Food
The primary benefit of making your own baby food is knowing what exactly you will be feeding your baby. It is no secret that pre-packaged consumables at grocery stores have some type of preservatives to help the product last longer on the shelves.
Another benefit that gives peace of mind is that you get to choose your own produce to put into your baby’s food.
By making your own baby food, your baby can try eating new things that pre-packaged baby food does not have such as avocado or melons.
Saving your family money could be another benefit of making your own baby food. This all depends on what you buy, season, or even location.