Easy, economical and healthy are a few reason parents are turning to their kitchens for homemade baby food. Making your own organic baby food can help ensure you are serving natural, nutrient rich food to your little one. Store bought options may also have additives and preservatives. Some store-bought baby foods have been found in studies to contain less than 20 percent of the recommended levels of important minerals and micro-nutrients. They also may not use organic ingredients, which can increase your baby’s exposure to pesticides.
Tiffany Lehman, mother of 9 month old Juliana, creates her daughter’s food from scratch. A working mother with her own counseling practice in Fort Collins, Tiffany says, “New parents worry its time consuming to home make your baby’s food. In reality, most baby food recipes are simple to make. I am definitely not a cook, but making Juliana’s food is very easy.”
4 Easy Steps to Organic Baby Food:
- Shop Start with local, seasonal, organically grown produce. The basic elements of baby food are the same elements for your own food: fruits, veggies, protein, and grains.
- Steam When it comes down to fruit and veggies, steam them to ensure that they’ll be soft enough for mashing or puree.
- Puree Use a blender, food processor, Baby Bullet, or simply mash softer foods thoroughly with a fork. Add liquid if desired. Breast milk or formula mixed to the puree will give it a thinner consistency. It is also a way to make flavor more familiar to your baby. Over time, add less liquid and mash the food less to let your baby experience different textures of food.
- Store Spoon into glass jars or small containers and refrigerate. If you want to freeze your baby food for thawing it later, try freezing your creations in an ice cube tray. You can throw the ice cubes into a freezer bag and take them with you when traveling.
“What I like about making my own baby food”, says Lehman “is I decide exactly what goes into it. I know that it’s fresh and healthy, with no preservatives. Introducing Juliana to foods that are not processed also helps her transition easier to other foods. She is exposed to a variety of tastes and textures. Besides being healthy and expanding her pallet, creating organic baby food is actually more budget-friendly than the store bought versions.”
The Rule of 10: Tips for Tasting
Introducing your baby to a new food may take 10 times before they actually try it. Try combining a sweeter vegetable, such as carrots or squash, with darker ones, such as peas or green beans. Butternut squash or sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients. Bananas and avocados are also great first food choices. Always check with your pediatrician for your baby’s dietary needs and recommendations for age specific food changes as your baby matures.