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Wednesday

good food for baby

With a little planning, and a blender, a fork, a strainer, a food mill or a baby food grinder, you can make foods for your baby at home. Homemade infant food may help cut food costs, and provide baby with food as nutritious, if not more nutritious, than store-bought baby foods. Making your own baby food will also help baby get used to foods the family eats.

Pureed fruits and vegetables can be prepared from fresh-cooked fruits and vegetables. Use the cooked fruits and vegetables without added salt, sugar or fat. Puree means to put food through a sieve or grinder to make the food into a liquid-like, smooth texture. Some foods, like ripe bananas, can be mashed or pureed with a fork and won’t need to be precooked. It may be necessary to add some fluid (formula, breast milk, water or cooking water) to other pureed food to make it the right consistency for your baby.

Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables may also be pureed and used. When using commercially processed canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, check the ingredient label. Make sure you are not adding extra sugar, salt and fat to your baby’s diet. Other unnecessary additives may also be in canned or frozen foods.

Homemade infant food may help cut food costs, and provide baby with food as nutritious, if not more nutritious, than store-bought baby foods.

Some commonly home-prepared fruits for babies are ripe mashed bananas, and pureed bananas and applesauce. Dried prunes that have been cooked and pureed are another food for baby. Fresh pears or peaches in season may also be soft-cooked and pureed. Fresh vegetables that can be home prepared and pureed include potato, winter squash, sweet potato, peas, asparagus, and green or wax beans.

Later, when baby is between 8 months through 11 months, table food can be added to her diet. By that time, your baby will be able to move her tongue from side to side, and will have begun to spoon feed herself with your help. She’ll also start chewing with her new teeth, and feed herself with her fingers. With your help, she will also drink from a cup.

At this stage, try feeding mashed or diced fruit, soft cooked or mashed vegetables; mashed, cooked egg yolk; strained meats or poultry; mashed, cooked dry beans and peas; cottage cheese or cheese cubes; sliced bread; crackers; and juice in a cup.

Tips for Making Homemade Baby Food

  • Work under the most sanitary conditions possible.
  • Wash your hands with hot water and soap, scrub, rinse and dry with clean towel before fixing your baby’s food, before feeding your baby, and after changing your baby’s diapers.
  • Scrub all working surfaces with soap and hot water.
  • Scrub all equipment with soap and hot water, and rinse well.
  • Prepare fresh fruits or vegetables by scrubbing, paring or peeling, and removing seeds.
  • Prepare meats by removing all bones, skin, connective tissue, gristle and fat.
  • Cook foods, when necessary, boiling them in a small, covered saucepan with a small amount of water until tender. The amount of water is important — the less water used, the more nutrients stay in the food.
  • Puree food using a blender, food processor, baby food grinder, spoon or fork. Grind up tough foods. Cut food into small pieces or thin slices. Take out seeds and pits from fruit.
  • Test for smoothness by rubbing a small amount of food between your fingers. Add a liquid such as formula, water or fruit juice to achieve a desired consistency.
  • If pureed food is not being used right away, refrigerate quickly.
  • To freeze: pour cooled, pureed food into a paper cupcake liner or a section of a clean ice cube tray, and cover with foil. When frozen solid, store cubes in a freezer container in the freezer in a freezer bag or box.
  • Reheat frozen cube in a heat-resistant container in a pan of hot water.
  • When cooking foods for the family, remember to separate the baby’s portion before adding seasoning or spices. Babies need very little, if any, added salt or sugar

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