In the previous post, we talked the benefits of making your baby’s food at home, as well as the tools you need. We have also touched upon some hygiene tips. Now, we will take a closer look at the actual food preparation and some recipes that you can try out for your young one.
Preparing the ingredients
Once you have all the ingredients you need, begin the work by washing each one thoroughly in running water. As have been mentioned in the previous article, unless you are entirely sure that the water quality of water coming from the tap is good, it would be best for you to opt using bottled or purified water instead.
With the ingredients washed, you can begin preparing them according to what you are cooking. Cut the food into small, bite-sized chunks for easier feeding. For instance, you can cut the veggies and the meat into strips. Also, remember to take out all the seeds and pits and debone the fish and make them into fillets.
Vegetables and fruits
To cook veggies and fruits put them into a small amount of boiling water and prepare them as you would for the other members of the family. Do note that you have to cook them until they are tender enough for your child. Alternately, you can steam these instead. Do note certain soft fruits like bananas and avocados can be served without the need to soften them.
Depending on the age of your baby, you can puree the fruits and veggies. For this, all you need to do is throw them into the blender and add it a little of the water you boiled them in. Put the blender on a low setting and blend until smooth and there are also a few small chunks left. You can also mix these with a little amount of water and mash them with a fork.
Meat and fish
When preparing meat, you should remove all the visible fat and skin as you don’t want your youngster eating these at an early age. On the other hand, you can cook meat with the bones intact, but you need to remove these when serving the meal to your baby.
To cook meat for your young one, put the chopped pieces into a saucepan and add a little amount of water just enough to cover it. Boil until it becomes tender then let it simmer under lower heat. Once done, blend it in a blender, adding the cooking water you used earlier, the amount of which will depend on the age of your baby.
Storing homemade food
One of the great things about making your own baby food at home is that you can prepare as much as a week’s worth of supply and save a lot of money. However, for them to last that long, you have to store them properly.
To store leftover pureed, minced, or mashed food, put them in an ice tray and freeze. Remove the cubes from the tray and put them in a freezer bag and store accordingly.
For other homemade food, use the appropriately sized containers and bags. You can put some of these in microwavable containers for reheating later.
Make sure to label every container with the name of the food and the date when you made it. This will serve as an indicator of when the food should expire.
When preparing these for a meal, don’t refreeze any leftovers.
Now that we have covered everything about homemade baby food, it’s time to give some recipes that you can prepare during your baby’s mealtime.
1. Sweet potato puree
4 ounces finely diced sweet potatoes
1 cup water
How to cook:
Put the diced sweet potatoes and water in a pot and let boil for 15 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. In case the sweet potato has not thoroughly broken into chunks, you can use a spoon to mash it. You can also put it in a blender to make a smoother puree.
2. Apple pumpkin puree
1 sugar pumpkin
3 apples, peeled and cored
How to cook:
Halve and de-seed the pumpkin, then cut into small cubes. Slice the apples. Now, put water to around 3 inches deep in a pot and place the sliced apple and pumpkin pieces into a steamer, then put on top of the pot. Bring the water to boil and steam the food. Let cool and puree or mash as needed.
3. Brown rice cereal
½ cup short grain brown rice
How to cook:
Run the rice through a spice grinder or blender for 45 seconds to a minute, or until it is finely ground.
Boil ½ cup for water and add 2 tablespoons of the rice powder.
Whisk for about 30 seconds and let set for 4 to 5 minutes, whisking it occasionally.