Tips for Making Your Own Baby Food
If your baby is 4-6 months old and prepared to start eating solid foods, making your own baby food can not only give you greater control over your child’s nutrition but also provide you with more variety. Also, remember to introduce new foods every 3-5 days to monitor for any allergic reactions. However, making your own baby food can seem daunting but here are some helpful tips to make it easier for you.
7 Tips for Making Your Own Baby Food
1. Start small. You do not have to prepare all of your baby’s foods from scratch. Supplementing store bought food with some homemade items will still expose your child to a greater variety of foods, leading to more adventurous eating when they are older. Start by simply mashing or pureeing a very ripe avocado or banana, and progress to produce less common in the baby food aisle such as blueberries, spinach, mango and papaya.
2. Reduce Sugar. One of the main incentives to make your own baby food is to reduce the amount of sugar your baby eats. Puree or mash fresh fruit or fruit canned in it’s own juice, and NEVER add honey, sugar or other sweeteners.
3. Sanitation is Important. Babies are more susceptible to food born illness, so cook food until it’s well done. Wash and peel produce, taking special care with produce grown close to the ground.
4. Tender Food is Best. Steaming or microwaving fruits and vegetables in a small amount of water will help retain vitamins and minerals while making food soft enough to mash or puree.
5. Freeze Baby Food. You can freeze food you prepare for later use. Freeze it in small portions in a clean ice cube tray, and once frozen, transfer to a clean, airtight container to freeze.
6. Avoid Seasonings. If you are preparing food for the whole family, remove baby’s portion before seasoning food. As your child grows, you can introduce seasonings other than salt gradually.
7. Store-Bought is Fine. Commercial options today provide balance and variety for babies, so do not feel bad if you supplement or feed your child commercial foods. Like all foods, get into the habit of reading labels and aiming for as much variety as possible in your child’s diet.
With these tips in mind, hopefully you will feel confident about introducing your baby to new and exciting solid foods. If you would like more guidance, consider working with Dr. Karen Leibowitz or our Pediatric Registered Dietitian to best assess how to meet your baby’s nutritional needs.
Dr. Karen Leibowitz
Health and Medical Coach