Having a child is no doubt one of the greatest gifts. You are blessed with the opportunity to not only raise and watch a miniature version of your own self grow, but you are also provided with a wonderful chance to teach, guide, and encourage a healthy and proactive member of society.
Benefits of Making Your Own Baby Food
- No secret ingredients, as you know exactly what you’re feeding your baby.
- The ability to provide your infant with the pureed form of family meals.
- More variety, as you are able to concoct your own mixtures and choose ingredients not found in store bought brands of baby foods.
- Cost savings by purchasing your own ingredients and making the baby foods in bulk, and then storing extras for use later on.
- No additives or preservatives.
- Limited or no heat processing, which means less vitamin/mineral loss.
- Time savings with less grocery store trips and label reading.
Types of Foods to Make
The ability to choose the types of foods you puree and mix is a wonderful way to tap into your creative side and really give your baby the very best. At first, you will want to keep things simple with one-ingredient foods so that possible allergens may be ruled out quickly.
Vegetables (peas, carrots, beans, squash, corn) are a great place to start so that baby can become accustomed to eating less sweet foods. After a few weeks, simple fruits (bananas, apples, peaches, pears) can be introduced.
Once your baby has grown older, has become familiar with simple one-ingredient foods, and potential allergens have been ruled out, you will be able to experiment with more diverse ingredients and whip up concoctions including multiple kinds of fruits, vegetables, and even spices. If you choose to include meats in your baby foods, it is generally wise to wait to introduce these until about 7-8 months of age.
1. Avocado Puree (4-6 months)
Avocados are a true super food and a great source of healthy fats and Vitamin E, which are essential for proper brain development. All that is needed for this recipe is 1 medium-sized avocado.
- Peel the avocado and remove the seed from the center.
- Slice the avocado into chunks and puree with a food processor or blender. You may also mash the tender slices with a masher.
- Mix the puree with breast milk, formula, or water until the desired consistency is reached.
2. Beet & Blueberry Mash-up (7-9 months)
Beets and blueberries provide a nutritional power-punch, with just the right amount of sweetness. You are also unlikely to find this delicious combo in any baby foods purchased at the grocer’s market. Ingredients needed: 2 medium-sized beets and 1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Rinse the beets and blueberries, and drain in a collander.
- Remove beet skin with a potato peeler or knife.
- Slice the beets into 1-inch cubes. Place the beet pieces and blueberries in a medium-sized sauce pan.
- Add some water to the pot, just enough to cover the tops of the produce. Boil until the beets are tender, about 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Pour the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until a smooth texture is reached. Alternatively, a hand masher may be used to do the same.
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