by Terri Coles
(photo by lovelihood, via Creative Commons)
I’ve long been interested in health and nutrition, so it makes sense that reading about feeding babies well is one of my big hobbies right now. One of the things I’ve learned is that pre-made baby food is not necessarily as wholesome as its manufacturers would like you to believe — on top of lacking the fresh flavours you get from homemade foods, premade foods like those found in jars can contain less-than-desirable ingredients like additives, refined grains, sugar, and sodium. If adults are supposed to restrict these ingredients, should we really be giving them to babies?
Here are some tips on how to make baby food at home and ditch those less-than-healthy pre-made foods:
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to make homemade baby food — you can use the fresh ingredients you already have at home, and you have the comfort of knowing exactly what’s on the spoon as you put it in your child’s mouth. As a bonus, you can save some money while you’re at it!
If you’re looking for some ideas to get started, check out this list of the ten best foods for babies from Babycenter. You can get your kid used to solids with common choices like lentils, broccoli, dark greens, blueberries, and squash. These foods can be steamed or boiled and then pureed to the right texture for your baby’s comfort; just make sure you don’t serve them when still too hot for little mouths.
Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food is a great resource for parents who want to go homemade for their children. There are suggestions for great foods for each stage of your baby’s development, as well as recipes for healthy purees. If you like the site, pick up the book The Wholesome Baby Food Guide by Maggie Mead for more than 150 recipes. There’ll be something for every baby’s palate.
Styleberry’s blog has another great photo guide for making homemade baby food, showing how easy it is to prepare larger quantities and freeze them for later use. Her pictures really show how visually appealing these foods are — all that fresh fruit and veg makes for some gorgeous colours!
You can also just baby-fy whatever it is you happen to be making for your own meals, as long as the foods themselves are developmentally appropriate. (Speak to your healthcare professional about which foods should be introduced to your baby, and at what ages.) Mush up some of your own veg, puree a bit of your meat, scramble some tofu, and cut things into small pieces to let your baby work on that pincer grip. There’s no reason to be making separate meals, and this will help your child get used to a variety of textures and tastes early on.
Finally, there are a few tools that may come in handy as you learn how to make baby food:
The baby food processor from Piyo Piyo gives you several ways to get foods to the right texture for your baby, wherever you are — it doesn’t need batteries or electricity so you can take it along with you when you’ll be eating outside the home.
The Wean Machine is a stripped-down version of the same idea — put in a “regular” food and squish it up for baby, easily.
With a mesh baby feeder, you can put in a chunk of food — a piece of banana, say — and let your child gnaw away happily without worrying about choking.
And Wean Green’s containers are an excellent way to store foods and snacks, both at home and on the go.
With so many options and suggestions, there’s no reason you can’t learn how to make baby food at home! We predict you’ll be a convert quickly.
About the author:
Terri Coles is a freelance reporter specializing in health and lifestyle topics who lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She contributes regularly to Pawesome, The Teal Cat Project, and Vegansaurus, and is currently blogging about her experience as a pregnant vegan at Veggo Preggo.
Tags: homemade baby food how to make baby food terri coles