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November 06, 2018
Making your babies food from scratch puts you in control. Buying baby food off the shelf can add up quickly. Not having to worry about any weird additives or bizarre ingredients never hurts either. Three little words ring true on this topic. Peace of mind. So simple yet so true. You can’t buy peace of mind folks and with a few simple steps you can have this task in the bag and have fun with it too!
Let’s get started, first things first. Some purees do not even need to be cooked you can just mash them with a fork and stir in breastmilk or formula to reach the consistency of your liking.
Purees are typically created by either steaming or baking fruit and vegetables, then pureeing them.
There are lots of recommendations on when and what to feed your children during certain stages and ages, however, we will leave that up to the professionals. We will note that some tried and true favorites include apples, peas, avocado, sweet potatoes and peaches.
A few simple steps to keep in mind:
When your little one graduates from purees to finger foods the real fun begins. Some favorite finger foods that will get those pinchers working include soft baked white potato dices, small dices of cooked peas, soft cooked pasta and tofu cubes that have been dusted with cereal dust.
Helpful tip: You can grind up things like Cheerios and graham crackers into a fine dust and coat the food. This makes it easier for your little one to pick up. Viola!
Another really fun idea to exercise those pinchers are the Vegetarian Baby Burrito Bowls by Dr. Sonali Ruder (from her Natural Baby Foodcookbook). Here is the skinny:
Vegetarian Baby Burrito Bowls
This meal can be made for the whole family and is a great way for your little one to use those grasping fingers. One thing to also keep in mind is that if your baby isn’t quite ready to use their hands this meal can always be pureed to the desired texture.
Ingredients (Serves about 1 ½ cups)
½ cup cooked brown rice, warmed
¼ cup black beans drained and rinsed
¼ cup cooked corn
1 teaspoon cilantro
⅛ teaspoon cumin
½ medium Haas avocado, chopped into small pieces
Mix the rice, beans, corn, cilantro, and cumin together in a bowl. Gently stir in the pieces of avocado.
Let your baby loose to have fun and practice those “picking” skills.
In close, making your babies food is simple, fun and affordable. Please remember that it is always wise to consult your pediatrician before introducing any new food to your baby. Remember that 4-day rule when introducing your child to a new food. Offer your baby the same food for 4 days to test for allergies to that specific food. The same rule applies to homemade baby food. Last but not least, sanitation is key. Make sure those hands and cooking utensils are cleaned properly. Your little one’s immune system isn’t fully equipped yet, so you can never be too careful.
Experiment and have fun!
Kids Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017. How to Make Homemade Baby Food. November 23, 2017. https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/snack-and-meal-ideas/how-to-make-homemade-baby-food
Momtastic. 2018. Baby Finger Food Recipes & Baby Finger Foods for Your Baby. 2018. http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/babyfingerfood.htm#B4pVxZuc1pyva3iY.99 http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com
Love & Zest. 2018. Vegetarian Baby Burrito Bowls. 2018.https://www.loveandzest.com/vegetarian-baby-burrito-bowls/
Oh My Veggies. 2016. A Guide to Homemade Baby Food. February 18, 2016. https://ohmyveggies.com/a-guide-to-homemade-baby-food/
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