Your baby is almost six months, and you can't wait to give him or her food. As a first time mother, your primary concern is on the type of food you require to feed your baby.
You also don't know what you need to buy or even how to prepare the food. Read on to get all the answers to your questions!
You can decide to buy some prepackaged food. After all, it’s convenient, time saving, and storage is easy.
But unfortunately, prepackaged food is expensive and may contain some preservatives that may harm the baby. That leaves you with one option, preparing homemade baby food.
So why should you make homemade baby food?
- Its Nutritious and Delicious– You can use fresh seasonal ingredients and make yummy food for your baby. The seasonal ingredients will also help in boosting your child's immunity. Since it's less processed, the baby will enjoy various nutrients.
- It is Cheaper– Compared to buying a jar full of baby food, preparing homemade baby food is cheaper. You will only buy a few ingredients you require. You will not pay for manufacturing/packaging costs.
- Enjoy the Variety– A prepackaged baby food, will retain the same taste and texture. When you make homemade baby food, you can explore a variety of options. Your baby won't get bored eating the same type.
- Saves Time– Instead of cooking a separate meal, you can incorporate it into the family's food. Remove the baby's food before adding the salt and other spices.
Tips for Preparing Baby's Foods
With all these benefits, it's vital to know how to make homemade baby food. But which food is best for beginners?
You can start with fruit, vegetables, some cereals, sweet potatoes or even a pumpkin.
Remember, the baby's stomach is small and may only require taking one or two spoons for a start. The food should be soft for the baby to swallow.
If you decide to start with pumpkin, here is the way to go.
Preparing Pumpkin for Your Baby
- If possible, buy an organic pumpkin.
- Cut it into two using a sharp knife and remove all the seeds.
- Take a baking pan; place each half of your pumpkin on the pan facing down.
- Put it in the oven and let it bake at a temperature of 400 degrees F.
- After 40-60 minutes, the skin of your pumpkin should have wrinkles. You can press it using a spoon, and it will be soft.
- You can scrap the inside and process it using a food processor.
- To get the right consistency, add some water, breast milk, or even the soup in case you boiled your pumpkin.
Steaming your pumpkin is beneficial since it will retain most of the essential nutrients that help the baby. When cooking for the baby, be sure to use the freshest water possible.
Fruits are also vital when introducing solid food to your baby.
Remember to buy organic fruits since non-organic may contain harmful chemicals. Fruits such as pears, apples, peaches, bananas, or even pawpaw are good.
Don't use fruits that are stringy or unripe. Choose one fruit and wash it first, then Peel it and remove seeds.
Cut it into small chunk and puree it using a food processor. If it's not smooth, add some water. If the fruits are too soft, you can use a fork to mash them.
If you purchase excess fruits, consider putting others in the freezer. Using unfrozen fruits that are not fresh can be risky since it contains a high level of nitrates that can cause anemia.
- Start by cleaning and rinsing the vegetables.
- You can decide to steam, boil, or even bake vegetables such as cruciferous veggies.
- Once the food is ready, use a food processor to puree or even a blender.
- If your baby is bigger, he/she can handle chunkier food.
Is It Okay To Give A Baby An Egg Or A Fish?
You might have heard that giving fish or an egg to a baby is not a good idea. That's not the case.
You can give your baby either a fish or an egg, provided they are not allergic to these foods.
For fish, you can consider salmon. It's nutritious and contains healthy fats. Ensure that its well-cooked and then puree.
Things to Be Careful With When It Comes To Baby Food
1. Don't keep leftovers
Once the saliva gets into contact with the baby's food, bacteria will start growing. So if the baby fails to finish the food, dispose of immediately.
In case you had cooked more food, freeze or refrigerate it and give the baby a small portion.
So how long does homemade baby food last in your refrigerator?
If the food exceeds three days, dispose of it. If you freeze your pureed fruits and vegetables, it can remain okay for 6-8 months.
2. Avoid Sweeteners
Your baby doesn't require sweeteners in the food. That includes honey, sugar, or even corn syrup.
Instead of helping the baby, sweetener increases the chances of diabetes and food poisoning.
3. Avoid Preheating With A Microwave
Food temperature is a significant consideration when giving food to your baby. Avoid giving your baby food whose temperature exceeds that of the body.
When preheating it using a microwave, it will warm unevenly. Some parts may get hot while others remain warm.
You can't risk burning your baby with hot food. If using a microwave is the only option, stir your food first. Let it cool until it gets to the right temperature before attempting to feed the baby.
Note that cleanliness is vital when preparing the food. Before preparing or even giving food to your baby, wash your hands thoroughly.
Clean all utensils and sterilize them. Pasteurize any daily product you intend to give the baby to protect it from getting a bacterial infection.
Giving homemade food for your baby is vital since you are sure that he is taking the right nutrients. Again you have the chance of giving the baby a variety.
Maintain cleanliness and store the baby's food properly. Don't fear giving fish and eggs to your child, so long as it's not getting an allergic reaction.
Avoid using water from the well when cooking baby's food. Unfrozen fruits or vegetables that are not fresh can also harm the baby.