After six to seven months of feeding your baby pure milk, transitioning into solid feeding can be super exciting! Suddenly, there are more things your baby can explore through their taste buds. Solid feeding also helps you discover your baby’s personality through their preferences. What a wonderful way to know your baby better!
But before you go all out at the grocery store — and be overwhelmed with all the baby food choices out there — consider making baby food yourself. It is actually quite easy and there are many great reasons why you should do so.
5 Benefits of Homemade Baby Food
Why should you make your own baby food? Here are 5 appealing reasons:
1. You know exactly what goes into your baby’s food.
Because you are the one making it, you can make sure that your baby’s food is made of healthy and nutritious ingredients. Unlike store-bought baby food, no harmful chemicals and preservatives need to go into your jar of baby food.
2. You can make baby food according to their preferences.
When you are feeding your baby with solids, you will soon find out what tastes and textures they prefer. Making your own baby food gives you the option to stick to tried-and-tested recipes or try new foods that they may love.
3. You are free to try as many recipes as you want.
The exciting part of making homemade baby food is that you are not restricted to one food combination! For example, if your baby is not fond of bananas, you can perhaps try adding apples to the mix to make it more appealing. On the other hand, you may also freely omit ingredients that your baby might be allergic to.
4. Your baby’s food is fresh all the time.
Apart from the nutritiousness of the individual ingredients, making baby food at home guarantees that what your baby is eating is fresh all the time. You can also choose fresh produce that are in season.
5. Homemade baby food can be more practical and economical!
This benefit comes with a disclaimer: making homemade baby food does not equate to money saved. However, if you choose fruits and veggies that are in season and avoid buying unnecessary equipment, then you can definitely save on baby food costs! It’s also more environment-friendly as you can reuse your jars and containers.
Now that you know the advantages of making your own baby food, the next question is how to make it.
How to Make Your Own Baby Food
Making your own baby food is rather simple, and the best part is you can use what cooking equipment you already have at home! It’s true that there are a million (well, not literally) baby food makers in the market, but there is no need to buy them. You can use your blender or food processor to puree. You can even use a fork to mash your baby’s food!
Here are some things to remember when making homemade baby food.
1. Choose fresh produce.
Make the most out of fresh produce and choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. Not only are you able to save more money when doing this, produce that are in season also tastes a lot better! Don’t forget to wash them and scrub them thoroughly before pureeing.
2. For storage options, think long-term.
You don’t have to store a lot of baby food at a single time. Because homemade baby food doesn’t contain preservatives, it may spoil quickly. You may opt to get tiny single-serving air-tight pots as well as an ice cube tray for freezing baby food. Divide your food into two batches and keep one inside the refrigerator and the other inside the freezer. Reheat only one food container at a time.
It also helps to choose food containers that are made of glass or stainless steel to minimize your baby’s exposure to plastic (but remember to use only glass containers when microwaving!).
3. Use whatever equipment you already have.
Again, unless you really want to, you don’t need to buy a special baby food maker. Use your blender or food processor to puree green vegetables like spinach and celery. You may also use these tools to puree meat, chicken, and liver. For fruits, root crops, and eggs, cut them into cubes and use a fork to mash them.
In the case of vegetables, steam them first until they are tender. Roasting and baking also work but steaming preserves most of the nutrients. Cook meat and chicken with the skin, bones, and ligaments removed. To make your purees smoother, add a bit of milk!
4. Introduce one new food at a time.
When introducing solid foods, it is crucial to introduce just one new food at a time. Most doctors would recommend waiting for two to three days before offering new food. During this time, observe your baby if they develop an allergic reaction to the food you had offered.
It will definitely help to record what your baby is eating in a food log to track allergic or adverse reactions more easily and effectively.
Making baby food at home is not complicated at all! It does not eat up a lot of your time; instead, it can be more convenient and practical, especially if you are using fresh produce. There is also no need to buy special equipment as you can use whatever tools and equipment you already have at home!