Making your own baby food does not need to be time consuming and complicated. With the right tools you can prepare and serve the food right off your family dinner table. This way your baby will get used to what your family eats and you’ll know exactly what you’re feeding your baby. You can also prepare and store food specifically made for your baby. Either way, you’ll find that making your own baby food is easy and economical.
Step One: wash and clean…
- Make sure everything, including your hands, is clean before you start. This includes counters, pots and pans, blending tools, utensils and cutting boards. Be sure to use soap (such as dish soap) and rinse any residue off your dishes.
- Have a cutting board for meats and a separate one for fruits & vegetables.
- Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables you are preparing.
- Always wash your hands after handling meats.
Step Two: cook and prepare…
- Most fruits and vegetables will need to be cooked to be softened before pureeing. You can bake, boil or steam the produce.
- Peel, pit and remove seeds from the produce if necessary.
- Grains can be cooked then pureed.
- Remove the skin and fat from your meat and cook until well-done (this includes all red meats, poultry, eggs and fish)
- There are many tools that do the job: food mill, food processors, blenders, immersion or hand blenders, forks and mashers.
- If you need to strain out lumps you can push the food through a mesh strainer.
- You can thin the puree either before or after freezing. Keep in mind frozen breastmilk should never be refrozen. Using cooking water adds the nutrients lost during the boiling process back into the food. Breastmilk and formula will give the food a “familiar” taste.
- As your baby gets older you can decrease the amount of liquid used and increase the chunkiness of their food.
Step Three: serve or store…
- Have your food mill or processor handy during dinner time and serve what you’re eating, right from the table.
- Ensure the temperature of the food is equivalent to body temperature and be aware of hot spots when heating by microwave.
- To freeze, use ice cube trays for convenient 1 oz servings. Simply pour your puree into the tray and cover with plastic wrap. Once frozen, pop them out and put in a labeled freezer bag (type of food and date made) for easy future meals. Use frozen cubes within 3 months.
- Never use glass jars for freezing unless they are specifically designed for that purpose.
- Once defrosted you cannot refreeze so make sure you only defrost what you’ll need for that meal.
- Any baby food stored in the fridge will need to be used within 48 hours.
If your baby doesn’t like the food you’ve prepared don’t feel like your time and efforts have gone to waste. Your baby’s likes and dislikes change all the time. Offer the same food a few days or weeks later, it may take 10 (or more) times before he gobbles it up.