So your baby is ready to start eating solids and you know this because lately he/she has been eyeing you eating your solid foods and they are just so eager to try it.
As a mother of three kids and currently expecting another one, I find making baby foods one of the most fun things about having a baby at home. You get to play with the different recipes and watch as your baby first try them, their facial expressions are just simply adorable when they either like or dislike a food.
Sure you can buy baby jarred food from the store but they are packed with:
And even the ones that are labeled as organic and free of preservatives are heated at such high temperature so bacteria can survive in it but neither can minerals and vitamins, which are essential for your baby's health and growth.
Now, when you make your baby foods at home, you know exactly what is going into it because you are the one in charge of each ingredient, so you get to keep all of the bad stuff out and keep all the good stuff in.
What do you need to make your own baby food?
Many mothers like to use baby food makers such as the baby bullet or many other brands you can find on amazon but honestly, a blender will do just fine. For my second child, I used a baby bullet but by them time my third one came I had given it away so I used the ninja blender we already had and it did the job I needed to do.
Some of the ingredient you will be using to make your own baby food will need to be steamed or cooked prior to blending it, such as broccoli, potatoes and other ones, so investing in a good steamer is also a great option. Baby bullet has a great steamer that can also be used to sterilize bottles and pacifiers or you can just stick to the regular steamers too, whichever way gets the job done.
Storing your baby food
Storing your baby food is a very important step just as making the food. You will want to ensure that your baby food containers are free of BPA, PHTHALATE, PVC FREE, & also GERM RESISTANT. Glass containers such as this one, are the best way to go as it is less-porous so it won’t harbor unwanted organisms.
To freeze your baby food you can also store them in silicone trays, just remember that microwave kills foods so it is best to heat them in a food warmer such as the Tommee Tippee bottler or food warmer or on the stove by placing the jar in a pan with hot water.
As your baby grows, reusable food pouches are also a great to store the baby food you make and it is also perfect for baby to self feed, especially the ones who like their independence early such as my third baby who just craved to eat on her own without the help of an adult.
Base Liquids to blend your baby food with
You will want to add a base liquid to ensure you baby food is soft enough for baby, after all, they either have no teeth or very little ones that won't make it possible for chewing the ingredients.
Here are some base liquids you can add to your baby food:
My favorite one is breast milk, mostly because it is packed with nutrients that baby cannot get anywhere else.
As for the broth, you can make them at home and save it in the refrigerator so whenever you are ready to make your baby food, the broth is also ready. Try to stay away from store bough broth as those contain preservatives and other ingredients that may not be as good for your baby.
The No No List
Your baby's tummy is very new hence not able to digest every type of food just yet. So to be safe, it is best to avoid these foods for the first year and then start adding them to baby's diet and observing how well they feel and digest them. Be on the look out for any break outs, diarrhea and allergies.
Keep a diary of the foods you feed your baby, if possible, that way it will be easier to track what foods are safe and which ones may have cause them allergies or other problems.
Here are some foods that you may want to stay away from during the first year:
First stage baby food recipes
They say we make more mistakes with our first child than we do with the successors and I couldn't agree more with that. I started feeding my first child with fruit solids, as I listened to some family members and they advised to start with foods such as bananas, apples, pears but then I had my second child and I decided to listen to the expert; my holistic doctor.
He advised me to start the baby with vegetables and leafy greens because a baby is just a baby and is no fool so they are more prone to like the sweet foods and then later reject the vegetables and greens. However, when they start with those first, they are bound to enjoy them even after they are introduced to fruits.
That couldn't be more true! My first child is not a huge fan of vegetables and leafy greens until this day while my two other love broccoli, cauliflower and even spinach. So, I highly recommend to start with veggies and greens, even if, you don't like them that much.
Also consider not making blends just yet so you can observe whether your baby develops any allergic reaction to foods you will be introducing. It is also good to wait one to two days before introducing a new item just in case they do develop an allergic reaction you will know exactly which ingredient caused it.
Here's a list of vegetables, leafy greens, fruits and meats that are safe to feed your baby
30+ Baby Food Recipe Ideas
Now that you have experimented with one ingredient purees and have figured out whether your baby is allergic or has had any reaction to any of them, is time to move on to blends. This is truly where the fun start, at least it is for me, as you get to come up with different recipes and new baby food ideas.
Here are a variety of recipes for your to experiment with it, just remember, you can add, take away or make your own mixes, keep it fun, simple and most of it all, enjoy this phase as it passes by with a blink of eye.
Don't forget to steam and cook the vegetables and fruits that aren't soft enough before throwing them in a blender such as carrots, apples, cauliflower, pears, etc. Also, the amount of liquid you use will depend on the consistency you want, if you want the puree to be more soupy, then add more liquid and vice versa.