For your Baby’s Health – A New Parent’s Guide to Homemade Baby Food
There is obviously some debate when it comes to commercial or homemade baby foods. Both commercially prepared and homemade baby foods are seen as nutritious choices for a baby. Homemade baby foods practically have the edge to whole food nutrition. A big factor for consideration is in the preparation time. Homemade mom cooking has absolute control over ingredients and this would means making the baby’s food free from additives and can be flavored to suit baby’s preferences. So, parents always know what’s going in to their baby’s body. The food texture may also be customized according to the age of baby.
Keep in mind that making baby food requires more time and effort then many parents may be willing to spare. However, parents with the time can follow a few simple steps to prepare their own homemade baby food. First, you need to get familiar with all the baby food menus and recipes. It would be wise to read and look into a baby food cookbook for preparation tips and recipes. Homemade baby foods nutritional values are largely dependent on how they are prepared. When prepared improperly they may not prove to be as wholesome as commercial brand baby foods. On the other hand if correctly prepared, then the parent can be sure that they meet all the baby’s nutritional need.
What are the most important things to remember during preparation?
Make sure all your cooking utensils; containers and work surface area are clean.
Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water beginning food preparation.
This includes any time you are called from work and return. This also includes after a sneeze or cough.
Use the food choices from the menu.
Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables and remove skins.
Fresh ingredients are a must.
Do not add salt, sugar, or spices.
Don’t allow foods to sit out on the food counter for long during preparation.
Once the food is prepared, take out the portion that will be used to feed the baby on that meal and immediately keep the remaining portions.
Stir the food thoroughly and check for hot spots before serving the food to your baby.
Please be very particular with labeling as to date of preparation and freezing.
Make it a habit never to defrost baby food on the counter.
Defrost at the lower portion of the refrigerator or in a low heat microwave.
Never refreeze left over portions.
Small pieces of food that require big bites may cause choking in a baby. If possible use a blender to smooth cashew or almond butter with fortified soy milk, water or juice for easier swallowing. Organic ingredients may also be a healthy alternative for many families, which according to some makes the baby’s food even healthier. Homemade baby food may be covered and kept refrigerated up to a maximum of three days. However, the stored food should not be served directly from the storage container, as bacteria from the baby’s saliva might spoil the remaining portion, and uneaten portions should be kept in the freezer.
Parents can slowly introduce new homemade baby food into the baby’s diet. Introduction of new food should be done over time but not more frequently than every three days. This makes it easier to detect allergies and the baby’s inability to tolerate newly introduced food. Cooked and strained or pureed fruits can be a good start after rice cereal. Eating habits formed in the first two years of life may persist for several years or a lifetime. Homemade baby food is a healthy decision but may take too much time to prepare. Every precaution should be followed to avoid any type of health risk and to ensure a healthy child for life.