Recipe: Homemade Baby Food
This week's post is written for parents who are interested in making their own baby food. With both my girls I have used a combination of homemade baby food and store bought organic baby food. I really enjoy making my own purees and have learned that the process can be healthier for babies, as well as simple and cost effective. In addition, I feel both empowered and very motherly knowing that I have made my own baby food from hand selected fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables. For me, there is a simple joy that comes from feeding my babies the best and most natural foods possible!
So, if you are new to this practice and are not sure where to begin, today's post will give you a few tips on how to get started!
First, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. On Baby Center.com you can find a detailed list of possible kitchen tools that can help get your baby food ready!
*You'll need a tool to grind or puree the food. Some possibilities, all of which you can buy at stores or online:
•A hand-turned food mill with different blades for various textures of food. Many parents say this portable, non-electric gadget is their favorite tool. (Search online for "food mill.")
•An all-in-one baby-food maker, a device that first steam-cooks and then purees fruit, vegetables, and meat for your baby. Some models also defrost and reheat previously prepared food. (Search for "baby food maker.")
•A baby food grinder, a very inexpensive and simple way to break down chunks of food for your baby, non-electric and portable, but you don't have a choice of textures. Read the reviews online before ordering. The grinders don't always work as well as they promise, but some parents swear by them. (Search for "baby food grinder.")
•A hand blender, a useful electric gadget that purees food like a blender does, but works in the opposite way: You place it into the food rather than vice versa. (Search for "hand blender.")
•A regular kitchen blender or food processor. You probably already have at least one of these at home. A blender or food processor might work well for you, though you might find it less than ideal for small jobs.
•A good old-fashioned fork. This simple piece of kitchen equipment found in every kitchen does a great job with easily mashed foods such as sweet potatoes, avocados, and bananas.
Other useful supplies:
•Storage containers and ice cube trays (or similar trays made just for baby food) for refrigerating and freezing extra portions.
In addition to these wonderful suggestions I would like to add that a steamer is really vital if you are making stage 1 and stage 2 baby foods. Stage 1 especially needs to be very smooth for your young baby's first exposure to solid foods. The article above mentions and suggests a steamer; however I would like to reinforce its importance. Fruits and vegetables will puree much easier and smoother if they are steamed.
Next week, join me for some basic homemade baby food recipes
that will delight both you and your little one!