There are several advantages to doing this, one being that you can help to develop your baby’s food tastes. Another is that you know exactly what you are feeding your baby.
Making your own baby food isn’t as difficult at you might think. It’s even cost-effective because you can feed your baby what you are already eating yourself, rather than buying special food for the baby.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind when making your own baby food…
Farms that grow organic fruits and vegetables don’t use fertilizers that contain nitrates which are very toxic to babies. They aren’t good for adults either, but for babies they are especially dangerous.
Babies who ingest too many nitrates can develop a condition called methemoglobinemia which is a type of anemia.
Also, some vegetables such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, collard greens, lettuce, spinach and turnips naturally have nitrates and should only be fed to babies at amounts of 1 or 2 tablespoons per each feeding.
#2 Make sure you remove any skins or seeds from fruits before cooking and then pureeing them.
#3 Don’t save any homemade baby food that is left over after feeding your baby. Babies get saliva in their food when they eat, and this will make it easier for bacteria to grow.
#4 Remember to cook fruits and vegetables with water to soften them before pureeing. Hang onto the water you cooked them in to thin your puree to the right consistency.
#5 Keep in mind that most doctors say not to add solid foods to your baby’s diet any earlier than 4 months, and usually not until 5 to 7 months. Your baby’s digestive system cannot handle solid foods before that, contrary to those who claim that it is okay to begin putting cereal in your baby’s bottle when he is a few weeks old.
#6 Freeze any extra pureed homemade baby food in ice cube trays. Then, when they are frozen you can pop the cubes out and put them in freezer bags labeled with what they are and when you made them. Oh, and make sure to cover the ice trays with plastic wrap while the baby food is freezing!
#7 Check the temperature of food before feeding it to your baby, and it is best not to use the microwave to thaw or warm up homemade baby food because it is so easy for there to be hot pockets. You could end up giving your baby food that is too hot without realizing it.
#8 When preparing meats for homemade baby food, stew all meat with water until thoroughly cooked and soft. Then, use the water to help puree them.
#9 Don’t add any salt, sugar, margarine, butter or spices to your homemade baby food. Your baby’s digestive system is not going to be ready for those until he is a year or so when you can begin slowly introducing such things.
#10 Only thaw out enough baby food for one day at a time. When you are ready to thaw and reheat your homemade baby food, begin by placing it in the refrigerator to thaw out. It takes about 4 hours to thaw baby food that’s been stored in ice cube trays. Once thawed, heat it in a sauce pan on the stove, stirring it carefully and constantly checking the temperature.
If you keep these tips in mind when making your own homemade baby food, you can be certain that what you are feeding your baby is both safe and healthy.