DIY Baby Food Guide

Food and Nutrition, Growth and Development
hellobee
CREDIT: hellobee.com
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Making your own baby food may seem too impractical for the time-crunched family (and what family isn’t?!), but with a little forethought, it’s totally do-able. DIY baby food is economical for you, nutritious for your baby and, as with most things, the more you know, the easier it gets.

To get you started, we gathered up some of the best DIY baby food tips from some of the blogosphere’s top bloggers. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Preparing Baby Food

As you prepare to purée baby food, Alea from Premeditated Leftovers recommends proper cleaning, cooking and storing of the produce to prevent food-borne illnesses. The first step in puréeing is to either bake, steam or boil the vegetable, fruit or meat. Once cooked, the food is ready to be pureed. Alea points out the wide variety of processors and blenders on the market that are designed for homemade baby food, but she claims the standard blender or hand mixer is just as easy to use. The one essential you do need is an ice cube tray to freeze your baby food for later use. She recommends labeling the dates on each container to keep track of how long each tray has been stored. Baby food can be refrigerated for one or two days, while frozen food can last up to a month or longer.

Premeditated Leftovers

To get started, you’ll need a blender to purée the food, and a standard ice cube tray for storage. CREDIT: Premeditated Leftovers

What Foods to Try First

Introduce vegetables to your baby before fruit. Alea explains that your child will develop a positive taste for veggies before enjoying the sweet flavors of fruits. She also advises serving meats last because their purées are dry and grainy. Serve grains once your child can eat with a spoon on his or her own. Whatever you do, never add additional sugar, salt or seasonings, Alea reminds parents. The purpose of creating your own baby food is to fuel your child with natural food that does not contain additives.

In order to serve true natural food, Whitney from The Snap Mom advises to always choose organic products. Some of her favorite items to include are sweet potatoes, apples, squash, peas, mango, pumpkin and green beans. Whitney loves sweet potatoes because they are packed with potassium, vitamins and fiber. She suggests apples as a great first food, as well as something to help the baby try other foods. Whitney prefers using jars with labels to store in the freezer. She will save her jars for up to a month, and they’re easy to pop in the microwave for on-the-go moms!

Super Healthy Foods to Try

Give your baby the foods you love, and experiment with some of these blogger-inspired recipes:

Blueberry and Chickpea Rosemary Chunky Purée

Baby Foode’s Blueberry and Chickpea Rosemary Chunky Puree contains antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin A and C, protein, zinc, manganese, folate and iron. This simple recipe has three ingredients, yet bursts with nutritional benefits.

Pumpkin Applesauce

The pumpkin applesauce from The Novice Chef is another healthy puree with apples, cinnamon, lemon and pumpkin. Now your baby can celebrate the fall season too!

Chia Seed Purées

Hellobee

CREDIT: hellobee.com

Hellobee provides three puree recipes that include chia seeds: Butternut Squash and Apple Puree, Banana and Coconut Puree, Mango and Spinach Puree. Chia seeds contain a large amount of omega-3 alpha-lipoic acid, which can be linked to cognitive development, according to Hellobee.

  • Rightbrainer

    1. Be careful where you source your ingredients. The standards for residual pesticides in fresh produce from the grocery store is an order of magnitude greater than for commercial baby food. Who knows what’s in the produce at the farm stand?
    2. A great deal can be done to reduce environmental contaminants during preparation. E.g., almost all of any environmental contamination can be eliminated from carrots by cutting off the top inch. That’s all that’s exposed above the soil.

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