The day when baby starts eating solids is an exciting milestone for both of you. More and more parents are skipping the baby food aisle at the grocery store in favor of making their own baby food at home. Making homemade baby food has many advantages. Its easy to get started.
by Patricia Hughes
The day when baby starts eating solids is an exciting milestone for both of you. More and more parents are skipping the baby food aisle at the grocery store in favor of making their own baby food at home. Making homemade food for your baby has many advantages. It’s easy to get started. All you need are fresh foods and something for grinding, like a small hand held grinder or food processor.
Advantages of Making Your Own Baby Food
Fresh Ingredients: By the time you open the jar, the carrots inside are months old. When you cook and prepare pureed carrots at home, the vegetable is fresh. The difference in freshness is reflected in the taste. Your baby will enjoy the same fresh taste in his vegetables as you do in yours.
Fewer Additives: When you make your own food at home, your baby will ingest fewer food additives. Commercial baby foods often contain salt, butter or sugar. In addition, some contain unnecessary fillers, such as starch. These are used to thicken the food and have no nutritional value.
No Pesticide Exposure: Unless you buy only organic, the baby food will most likely have traces of pesticides and herbicides. If you are concerned about pesticide exposure, making your own baby food is a great option. You can use organic fruits and vegetables to ensure that the food your baby eats doesn’t contain pesticides.
Saves Money: Making your own baby food will save you money compared to the cost of commercial baby foods. If you have more than you need, you can freeze the rest and have more for another day. This saves even more money. Homemade baby food can be frozen in ice cube trays for easy storage. This allows you to remove only what you need from the tray and keep the rest frozen. Look for ice cube trays with a cover or cover the tray with plastic wrap. They can be found on the internet.
It’s Good for the Environment: “Going Green” has become mainstream in our culture. If you are concerned about your footprint on the planet, making your own baby food is a perfect fit. Consider the number of jars that need to be produced and then recycled, over the months your baby will eat it. When you add the impact of manufacture and shipping the baby food to your local store, the effect is even greater.
Making Baby Food
Introduce one food at a time to be sure your baby doesn’t have an allergic reaction. Bananas and avocados are good choices for first foods. Other good choices for early foods include apples, pears, peas, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes. Vegetables will need to be cooked prior to putting them in the grinder. Hard fruits, such as apples, can be cooked as well to soften them.
Once you have introduced a few foods and the baby hasn’t had a reaction, you can start combining foods. The combination of flavors increases interest in solids for some babies and gets your baby used to a variety of flavors and textures. When you puree the food, make it thinner for younger babies and thicker as the baby grows. Foods can be thinned with water or breast milk.
Patricia Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four. Patricia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. She has written extensively on pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and breastfeeding. In addition, she has written about home décor and travel.
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