Making Your Own Baby Food Is As Easy As 1-2-3!
By: Catherine Pittman © 2007
Many parents today are choosing to make their own baby food because nutritionally, it is hard to beat the pure wholesomeness that preparing foods right from your own kitchen can offer. Making your own baby food is not only simple and convenient, but it can save you money in the long run.
There are many reasons that families choose to make their own baby food. One of the prime reasons for today’s families: Feeding your baby from your own pantry will ensure that it is free from the additives and fillers found in most commercial baby foods, and allows you the choice of using only organic and natural products. Preparing your own baby food will begin your little one’s road to good, healthy eating habits… one that will last a lifetime!
Is it expensive? Making your own baby food really doesn’t require expensive equipment or a great deal of time. You can use many of the same fruits, vegetables and foods that you purchase and prepare for the rest of your family. If you have a clean pot to cook in and a blender or food processor to puree baby’s foods to the right consistency, you have everything needed to get you started! While some foods, such as bananas, cooked potatoes or other ripe fruits and cooked vegetables only require a fork for mashing, you may need your blender or food processor to puree other foods.
Regular family foods prepared with salt, heavy spices, sugar or fat are never suitable for infants. It is important that you remove baby’s portion before these ingredients are added, or take the time to prepare it separately.
If you want to talk about expensive, let’s talk about commercial baby food! What manufacturers charge for baby food is outrageous, and in reality the cost is in no way justifiable. How can they get away with charging so much? Baby food manufacturers have conditioned parents to believe that they have no choice but to buy from them. Some parents feel it is easier and more convenient. In reality, you DO have a choice, and that choice is as simple as 1-2-3!
Why spend a fortune on inferior products, when it’s easy to make your baby’s food out of the same produce that you purchase for the rest of your family? Ever looked at the ingredients of baby food?
Most commercial baby foods contain additional fat, salt, sugar, fillers or other ingredients that are not only completely unnecessary but quite unhealthy. These additives are an attempt to add flavor, texture or to add bulk to poor-quality products that do nothing to contribute to your baby’s health and well-being. By preparing the foods yourself, you avoid being robbed by the manufacturers and ensure your baby is eating pure, healthy foods. You are sure to find yourself with quite a bit of extra cash to spend on all those other things that your growing baby needs when you cook your baby’s food. Your baby will reap the benefits of eating fresh, nutritional food in more ways than one!
When you prepare your baby’s food, YOU are in control! You can choose to only use organic foods, thus eliminating GMO's (genetically modified foods). You know exactly what your baby is eating, and you know it is full of nothing but pure goodness! Applesauce, for example, is easy to make from cooked fresh apples, but when you buy applesauce you practically need a science degree to decipher the list of ingredients!
Once you start cooking your own baby food, you’ll quickly come to realize just how easy it truly is! All you need is a food blender and fresh ingredients to prepare a healthy, tasty and homemade meal for your baby. You can freeze some of your little one’s favorite meals in advance, and serve up a delicious, healthy meal in a matter of minutes every day of the week!
How does one cook baby food? Steaming is one of the best cooking methods not only for your baby, but your entire family. It preserves the vitamins and minerals in the foods, and is easy to do. If you don’t have a commercial steamer, simply place the foods in a steam basket, mesh sieve or colander above the boiling water, and cook them in the rising steam. For babies, cook things until soft, then puree or mash. Microwave cooking is another way to prepare foods. Boiling or simmering fruits and vegetables is also an acceptable cooking method, but will result in vitamin and mineral loss.
Okay, it sounds easy. Now you’re probably asking, how does one “stockpile” baby food? Freezing baby food is as easy as the cooking. You can pour your pureed baby food into ice cube trays, cover with waxed paper and freeze. Once frozen, simply transfer the cubes to freezer bags and return to the freezer. You can also “plop” a spoonful of pureed food on a cookie sheet or wax paper, freeze, then transfer the frozen plops to freezer bags. Frozen baby food portions will keep approximately one month and can be thawed in a microwave at a low setting, thawed in a steamer, or by placing the plastic bag in cold water. Never thaw at room temperature.
Pureed foods do spoil more easily than other foods, so baby’s food should be used immediately or frozen for future use. If you do store in the refrigerator, do not keep it more than two to three days. If it is not used within that time period, it should always be discarded.
Most parents today would say the main reason they use commercial baby food is convenience. With their busy lifestyles, they feel they barely have time to prepare the regular family meal. Babies can typically eat what the rest of the family is eating with very little special preparation. Just remember to remove their portion before adding salt, sugars, and most seasonings!
Once you get started cooking for your baby, you will quickly realize it is very simple to do, and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Eating delicious food is one of life’s simple pleasures, and your baby deserves to enjoy the rich flavors and textures of a real home-cooked meal as much as you and the rest of your family!
About the Author
Catherine currently resides in Oregon and is the owner, songwriter and main vocalist for her children's music production company, Pitter Patter Productions. The company has specialized in original award-winning music for children from newborn through kindergarten since 1992, and also produces ebooks for parents and new parents. Our children's music is available on CD at www.pitterpatterproductions.com, and available for download at: CD Baby, Amazon.com, and iTunes.
Coming 2013... The Baby Food Cookbook Kindle Ebook.
If you would like to reprint our article on your Blog, newsletter or magazine, please email Catherine at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest!