You have been waiting for this day for nine months now, and it is finally here! Your baby has arrived into this world, and nothing else under the sky can give you so much happiness, right?
All said and done, when it comes to feeding your baby, there are chances you might end up confused. But you don’t have to worry anymore! Because this post exactly deals with all those questions you have in your mind.
So what else are you waiting for? Read and learn the best methods for preparing homemade baby food:
Your Baby’s First Food:
A baby’s initial nibble of solid food is ceremonial and can hold religious importance in some cultures while bringing joy to others.
- Annaprashan is such an example of a Hindu ritual where the baby is fed with sweetened rice porridge. There are many similar rites practiced around the world.
- Later as she gradually learns to chew, she is introduced to semi-solid food and eventually, all types of food.
[ Read: How To Introduce Solid Food ]
Why Is Baby Food Soft?
Baby foods are either a soft, liquid paste or other easily chewable foods. In the initial stage, babies begin by eating soft food that consists of puréed vegetables, fruits, sometimes with rice cereal, formula or breast milk.
- Baby food is typically mashed food. Vegetables and fruits, if included, are usually chopped and boiled into small pieces. This is done so because babies can chew their food, but do not possess the ability to grind it.
- Even if your baby has developed teeth, they are gentle and can chew only carefully prepared baby food in the right consistency.
[ Read: How To Introduce Cow’s Milk To Babies ]
4 Methods For Preparing Homemade Baby Food:
The following are some recommended methods on how to prepare baby food at home to make the process a little easier for you. Don’t forget to take out bones, fat and seeds existing in the food before feeding your baby.
A simple way would be to steam the food in some water for making it easily chewable. This method is useful because it retains all the nutrients. Do not overcook the food as it might become soggy and taste unpleasant while eating.
[ Read: How To Read Nutrition Facts Label ]
Dry baking is a wonderful cooking method that intensifies the flavors of the vegetables. Before baking, consider the vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, corn, potatoes and parsnips. While cooking meat for your baby, use water (instead of the meat juices) to puree it. This will make sure the food is not too strongly flavored.
Using the microwave allows you to cook in small quantities. Make sure the food is evenly cooked before you purée it. Raw or unevenly cooked food is too rough on your baby’s digestion and sometimes may also pose a choking hazard.
4. Frying And Grilling:
Fried and grilled foods are indeed delicious, but in general are not recommended for babies. A high amount of nutrient loss happens when you fry or grill your baby’s food. The amount of carbon due to grilling and the oil that your baby consumes during frying is harmful to her health. Hence, both the cooking methods should be avoided.
[ Read: Nutritional Requirements For Infants ]
Points To Remember:
- Keep your work area and equipment clean. Know what you will be making and how you’re going to go about it. A cluttered work space will not help you in making decisions while cooking.
- Next, remember to wash your utensils and other required equipment in hot, soapy water and air dry them in a dishwasher.
- Owning a blender will come in handy for you as they are excellent for fruits and vegetables. However, they only shred meats than pureeing. Also, remember that prolonged exposure to light, heat or oxygen will destroy all the nutrients. Hence, try to minimize the blending time as much as possible.
- A food processor purées the food into a fine and smooth consistency, which also includes meats. A manual food grinder can also be used for fruits, vegetables, and meats.
- There is also something known as a baby food grinder which is inexpensive and also extremely useful for single servings. It is portable and small enough to luckily fit in your bag.
[ Read: Weaning Foods For Babies ]
Foods To Avoid:
Extra care should be taken with certain foods that pose a choking hazard like undercooked vegetables, certain fruits or meat/fish with bones. Do remember to avoid the following from your baby’s diet:
Salt can negatively affect your baby’s kidneys. It also encourages her to eat salty foods.
2. Spices Or Herbs:
Babies prefer plain food. Being a toddler, they might not like too many spices and herbs. So keep it simple.
3. Sugar, Honey Or Corn Syrup:
Sweeteners can lead to dental and weight problems in later stages. Hence, avoid them right from the beginning.
4. Overheating Or Steaming:
Do not over steam the food as it destroys all the essential nutrients present in it.
We hope these methods on how to prepare baby food will help you in cooking delicious recipes for your little bundle of joy. Happy cooking!
Do you have thoughts or ideas to share about baby food with the other readers? Write into us in the comments section below.
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