Congratulations, you are thinking of making your own healthy homemade baby food. This is a great Lifestyle Solution, and you are a wise Mom!
The Benefits of Homemade Baby Food
Frugality: Cheaper than store bought.
Health: No fillers, preservatives, salt or sugar, unless you choose to include them. It’s just real food.
Ease: Can be made in bulk, and frozen for later use.
Taste: Tastes better than store bought. Would you want to eat store bought?
Choice: You can choose organic foods that are fresh and full of vitamins/minerals. You choose the starting product and know it is fresh and where it came from.
Better transition to real foods: Babies are eating unprocessed real food that tastes like the real whole food, so the transition is simple.
Once you have determined with your doctor that your baby is ready for food, you can prepare your foods at home easily. Most babies are not ready for real foods until 6 months.
The baby food making process is:
Purchase fresh fruits and veggies that you want to try. Organic is best, or you can use frozen veggies and fruits.
Soften them by baking, boiling or steaming them. If you boil them, use as little liquid as possible, because vitamins and minerals will boil out into the water. You want to be able to puree the water with the vegetable or fruit. In the video below, Erika of Chic Shopper Chick, tells us her recipe for homemade sweet potato puree for babies.
Once the food is softened, you can puree it in a blender or small food processor. Add breast milk, formula or whole milk (if your baby is over a year) to thin down the pureed food to the consistency that you like. Place a small amount of baby food in a separate dish to avoid contaminating the entire amount. Freshly made fruits and veggies can last in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, meats for 1 day and meat/veggie combos for 1-2 days.
You can prepare more food than you need and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Then store the food cubes in a labeled freezer bag with the food type and date. Fruits and veggies can be stored for 6-8 months, meats and meat/veggie combos for 1-2 months, according to the USDA.
A great baby food cookbook is "Top 100 Baby Purees" by Annabel Karmels. She uses organic foods, and offers great recipes.
Preparing fresh home-made baby food at home would be my recommendation over buying store bought baby foods. It’s fresh and fabulous and a healthy diet habit because your baby will be eating foods that taste like the real thing.
A second option for homemade baby foods is to make their meal from your meal choices daily! This takes less time than making separate baby food, especially if your family eats healthy. Take a small amount of your veggie choice and puree it for your baby. Real food tastes great with seasoning, within reason. Just try one food at a time and wait three to five days to watch for allergic reactions. Once your baby is safely eating single foods like veggies, fruits and meats, you can add a small amount of meat into the mix and grind it. Tasty and easy!
When babies are able to chew better, they can graduate to finely chopped veggies, fruits, pastas, and meats that you are eating. Cut them into very small pieces to avoid choking. Many cultures begin feeding their babies real mashed food, rather than special baby foods. My kids grew up in Morocco and this was our choice!