So today I am bringing you a healthy suggestion to feed your baby. As you know, around the fifth to sixth month, babies start to enter the gourmet world with their first attempts to try solid food. For me it was a no brainer to decide to prepare my baby food at home because this way he would eat healthy avoiding preservatives and I would have control over his menu. I decided to prepare his food at home, complementing the baby food that I also got from the grocery store but minimizing it.
Preparing your own baby food requieres planning to minimize the amount of time needed to prepare it and maximize the amount of food prepared per batch. Initially you can start with sweet potato, carrot, beet, sweet peas, green beans, broccoli, apples, pears, banana,butternut squash, sukini, spinach, collard greens and avocado. Use the freshest veggies and fruits and if possible, buy organic. You can also buy frozen veggies. This will give you a great variety and will allow you to stay on budget.
Another reason you want to buy fresh veggies and fruits are the nitrates found in veggies. The longer they are in the shelf or your fridge, the higher the amount of nitrates and they are not good for your baby. Nitrates are associated with a type of anemia called metemoglobinemia. To prevent nitrates, you need to buy fresh veggies and fruits and use them within two days after buying them or buy frozen veggies. The highest amount of nitrates are registered in carrots, beets, green beans, spinach and sukini. Branded baby food are tested for nitrates, so you can stay safe if you buy this ones on the ingredients more likely to have nitrates.
You will need a blender or food processor like the Ninja Express Chop or a blender of your choice, an icecube tray, freezer storage bags, a marker to date your bags and its ingredients, filtered or purified water and a fork. I like the Ninja express chop because it is very easy to use and clean, which saves me a lot of time. The only issue that I don’t like is that mine has started to crack in the bottom, but maybe it’s because when I prepare my baby’s puree, I put really hot and steamy pieces of veggies inside so you can prevent this by allowing your food to temper to room temperature after cooked.
- 3 Sweet potatoes
- To start, wash your hands with soap.
- Then wash without soap all your fruits, vegetables throughtly.
- Peel them if necessary, specially fruits and veggies or fruits like apples because this way your baby reduces the risk of choking with the skins that she's unable to chew and its less fiber for their sensitive bellies. Ideally I prefer to boil sweet potato with the skin and then peel them after cooked to prevent loss of nutrients.
- While you wash, boil water using one pot per ingredient. The more time your veggies stay in the water, the more nutrients are drained from them, so for optimum cooking, boil your water and then put your veggies to cook them. You can also steam them or cook them in the oven, it all depends on you. Avoid adding any salt or sugar to the boiling water, but you can add spices like basil or rosemary just to give them a twist and get your baby used to new flavors.
- Cook all your ingredients, including the fruits. For babies older than one year, you can leave the skin on apples, pears or sukini squash, just make sure that it is perfectly pureed when processing your foods.
- When your ingredients are cooked, drain the water in a separate container.
- Place the chunks of your cooked ingredients in the food processor.
- Add some of the drained water you used for boiling the ingredients in the food processor container.
- Blend pulsing alternatively until you have an even mixture at the desired consistency.
- Spoon the mixture into the ice tray container and freeze for 6 hrs or until ice firm.
- Tag your freezer bags with the marker including name of the ingredient and the date it was prepared.
- Transfer your ice cubes to the freezer bags and seal the bag.
- Place the freezer bags in the freezer.
- Each frozen cube equals one once.
The veggie and fruit ice cubes are good to use for 6 to 8 month. Meat ice cubes last 1 to 2 months. Each frozen cube equals one once.
When introducing new foods, start by introducing them one new food at a time and continue with that single ingredient for three or four days to verify your baby is not allergic to that ingredient.
To thaw the ice cubes, I put four ice cubes 1 min in the microwave to the max power and then stir to even out the heat. You can also defrost them overnight in the fridge or put them in a bowl with hot water.
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