It is time. Your bundle of joy is a few months old and could be ready for real food! Well, real food that is cooked and mashed up into a sauce. Obviously, they will still be on breast milk or formula for awhile longer as their sole food source, but that is what makes the new foods quest fun! You are seeing you little one take a big step in growing up and they are only a few month old! How exciting is that?
Remember, it is important that for the first little while, you only give your baby 1 new food every few days. This is so there is no confusion if he or she is allergic to a food you give them.
Making your baby’s food for them versus buying them pre-done in a jar or pouch is TOTALLY a preference. If you have no time or feel that you just want to store buy your baby’s food, that’s perfectly OK and is YOUR CHOICE!
I knew when I was pregnant with my son that I wanted to make my own food. For me, it was more economical and I would know EXACTLY what was in my son’s food. I’m a crazy label reader but it is super important to me to know what is in the food I’m eating. It is even MORE important to me to know what I am putting in my son’s body. Now, this might sound like a big to-do but it really isn’t! BECAUSE…I used foods that I was already eating or buying at the grocery store for myself.
This can sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why I came up with some great tips for making your own baby food. These should help in making your DIY baby food creations easy, nutritious and fast. You can be creative, and make sure your little one is getting all the nutrition they need!
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Here are your 6 Tips to DIY Your Own Baby Food!
Try easy baby cereals first…
Make sure you little one is getting some nutrients from grains as well as fruits and veggies. Most babies can probably eat regular cooked oatmeal or rice because it is mushy and easy to swallow. However, there are dry cereals in the baby section of the grocery store. They usually have rice meal, oatmeal, and multi-grain meal. Baby cereals are the first kind of food my son had when he was little. The cereals are very bland and to start, you can mix some rice cereal with some breast milk or formula to feed your baby. This can get them used to eating versus drinking, and the “food” will still taste like the milk they are used to.
Already soft foods…
There are some very soft foods that you don’t have to cook and super mash up for your baby to be able to eat them. A couple off the top of my head are very ripe bananas and avocados. You just peel the skin off and mash them with a fork. How quick is that?
Buy frozen vegetables…
In a pinch, frozen vegetables are a life saver for some of my favorite recipes. They definitely were when I need to quickly steam and mash some food for my son. You can cook frozen veggies on the stove or in the microwave. There are usually instructions on the back of the package on how to do that part. When the cooking is finished, you can toss them in the blender for 30 seconds to puree, let cool and serve to your little one. There will usually be enough water left from cooking them that you don’t need to add any more. But, if you need to add a little water to your blender to make the veggies less thick, more power to you.
Easy cooking instructions…
The easiest way I found to cook most of my son’s veggies was by steaming them on the stove or the easy cook option of the microwave. Steam cooks vegetable thoroughly and keeps the nutrients in tact for you and your baby’s enjoyment. If you don’t have one (which I didn’t for a REALLY long time), make a small kitchen purchase for yourself and buy a steamer basket. There are of course electric steamers and special steamers just for baby food. BUT, a more affordable option is using a steamer basket in your stock pot full of water.
Simply peel and chop your veggies, bring the pot of water to a boil, put the basket of veggies on top, and steam until very tender. When they are done, throw them into the blender to make a puree or smash them with a fork or potato masher.
Follow the first steps (peel and chop) when using a microwave. Then, put them in a bowl with a few tablespoons of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, then check the veggies for tenderness. Keep adding 2 minutes at a time until they are very tender. After they are cooked, follow the last step with the blender, fork or potato masher.
Cook the next day’s foods the day before…
Planning ahead can save your butt a million times over, especially with the constant attention a young baby needs. I tried my hardest to cook any new or daily foods I wanted to give my son the day before. By following the easy cooking instruction from above, I was able to make enough veggie purees to last 2-3 days. I found small food storage containers to keep the purees in, and they stacked well in my refrigerator. It made it easier because I wasn’t rushing around trying to make the food and hour or 30 minutes before my son needed to eat.
Make large batches and freeze them…
What makes preparation even easier than the previous step is to make BIIIG batches of veggie purees and freeze them. My mom gave me the idea (and Pinterest of course) to freeze the purees in ice cube trays. The size of an ice cube tray is the perfect serving size for a young baby who is just starting to eat, and you can crack them out just like ice. I would make a batch of carrots or sweet potatoes, freeze them, pop them out of a tray and into a freezer bag. All you have to do is let them thaw for a few minutes or pop into the microwave for a minute. Presto! Baby food purees all ready to go!
I hope these tips will encourage you to make your own baby food. It doesn’t have to be complicated to introduce foods to your baby. If you follow these steps, you can successfully make your baby’s food and know exactly what’s in it.
If you think of a tip I may have left out or one that has helped you, please feel free to pass it along. Us mommies have to stick together!