Baby Food 101
(This information was double checked by a pediatrician before adding.)
When making your own baby food, there are steps to follow, do’s and don’ts. Here are a few things that I was told to remember and to follow for the best food and for the safety of your baby.
- Use ice cube trays to freeze the pureed food. Each cube should be about one ounce. Once frozen, pop out the cubes, store in a sealed plastic bag, return to freezer and use within two months.
- Make sure to throw away any unfinished meals. Bacteria forms quickly.
- Introduce new foods one per week, so you can keep track of any allergies.
- Make sure your child has accepted most vegetables and fruits before trying any meats.
- Steam or microwave vegetables and fruits to retain as much vitamins and minerals as possible, boiling will remove those needed vitamins and minerals.
- Use the following as thinners: water left from steaming fruits and veggie, breast milk, formula, cow’s milk, yogurt, broth, or apple juice. If your baby has allergies with milk or formula and is too young for juice; the water or breast milk will be perfect.
- Do not feed nuts, raisins, popcorn, raw vegetables, unpeeled fruits, or peanut butter to any children under the age of 2.
- Do not use canned fruits and veggies as baby food. Too many additives and too much sodium are contained with these items.
- Do not use a microwave to heat your baby’s food. Contrary to popular beliefs; microwaves do not cook evenly. You can test the temp of your baby’s food by touching it to the outside of your upper lip.
- Do not give highly acidic fruits, such as oranges, tangerines and pineapples, to babies under one year as the acid is harsh on the immature digestive system.
- Do not feed egg whites to babies less than one year of age, due to potential allergic reaction. Cooked egg yolks are fine.
- Do not force feed your child. To begin solids foods, start with one or two spoonfuls and let your baby guide you. This is a new experience for them and some find it a bit scary.
Getting Ready to Prepare Baby Food
What you will need for the job at hand:
A fork or masher
Sieve, strainer or ricer
Food mill, blender, food grinder and/or food processor
Make sure the following is done before you start making your homemade baby food:
- Wash your hands.
- Be sure all parts of kitchen equipment have been thoroughly cleaned of old food particles, and rinsed with very hot water.
- Wash utensils and cutting board between different foods, and especially between cutting raw and cooked foods. The pediatrician I spoke to recommends having cutting board especially for preparing the baby food and using them for only that purpose.
- Do not store ground, prepared foods in the refrigerator or freezer longer than the recommended times.
- Never refreeze thawed foods.
- Frozen meals should be sealed in airtight containers and used within two months.
- Puréed meats and eggs should be used within one day, while fruits and vegetables can last three days in the refrigerator.
Photo from: Nature Mom’s