List of rules for feeding and preparing homemade baby food.
Rules for Preparing Homemade Baby Food
- Practice safe food handling practices. Always wash your hands before cooking and after handling raw meat, eggs, or poultry. Avoid cross contamination by thoroughly washing your cutting board and knife after chopping raw proteins.
- Before steaming, roasting, or poaching food, cut it into similarly sized chunks so the pieces cook at about the same rate.
- Be careful when puréeing hot food in a blender. Let the food cool slightly, then remove the plastic insert from the blender top, and cover with a towel before blending. This will reduce the pressure inside of the blender and make it less likely that your kitchen ends up a spattered mess.
- Add water (or breast milk or formula) by the tablespoonful to the blender or food processor to help the purée blend smoothly. Scrape down the sides frequently.
- Store baby food in the fridge for up to three days and in the freezer for up to three months.
- Be sure to label containers of baby food, especially when freezing, with the name and date. I use masking tape and a permanent marker.
- Thaw baby food overnight in the refrigerator. Food for your baby should never sit at room temperature for longer than an hour.
- If you reheat food in the microwave, stir it thoroughly before serving to disperse any pockets of heat.
- Avoid adding salt and anything beyond a small amount of sugar to your baby’s food for the first 12 months.
- Make your baby food in bulk. Freeze it into small portion sizes so you’ll always have food at the ready. You’ll build up a stockpile of food in the freezer and most days you’ll simply be reheating, not cooking.
Raising a Happy Eater
I love to eat—vegetables, burgers, sushi, chocolate, fruit, bread, quinoa, yogurt,you name it. Food is one of the most important elements of my life. I look forwardto breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. Each meal is an opportunity totaste something delicious, while doing something good for my body. While I didn’texpect my daughter to be omnivorous right away, I wanted to give her the gift ofloving wholesome, satisfying food.
If you also want to raise children who eat a balanced diet, who don’t shriek atthe sight of vegetables, who can sit at the table during mealtime with the family,who truly appreciate the pleasures that food has to offer, then making your ownfood is a powerful first step. As parents, one of our most important roles is toteach our children how to nourish their bodies in a healthy, balanced, and deli-cious way. If we don’t cook for them, and eat with them, it’s a much tougher job.
Making your own baby food not only beautifully meets your child’s nutritionalneeds, it also sets her on the path for a lifetime of happy eating. Recent studieshave shown that the more flavors babies are introduced to before age two, themore likely they are to eat a plethora of fruits and vegetables as they grow up.
To help you meet that goal, Real Baby Food also provides guidance for settingup healthy daily food routines and making decisions about what and when to feedyour baby and toddler. Most parents say they don’t want their kids to grow up eat-ing only chicken nuggets, plain pasta, and French fries. In most cases, there is asimple solution: don’t feed children chicken nuggets, plain pasta, and French fries.Instead offer them , ,and .Feed them the same foods you eat. Will they always eat it? No. Will therebe trying times . . . trying years even? Possibly. But my message is simple: Don’t. Give. Up. Continue cooking for and eating with your children. They will emerge onthe other side with a strong lifelong relationship toward healthy food. And armedwith recipes and strategies, you will be happier, saner, and calmer around the din-ner table.
Your baby has a lifetime of eating adventures ahead of him. Real Baby Food willhelp you make your child’s earliest days at the table (or in the high chair) full offun, discovery, and good nutrition that will set him on the road to health andhappiness.
Rules for Feeding Your Baby
- Transfer just a few tablespoons of food into a dish to feed your baby.You’ll want to discard whatever he doesn’t eat since bacteria from theinside of his mouth will have been transferred via the spoon to thefood in the bowl.
- Watch your baby’s cues, and never force him to eat if he doesn’t wantIf he closes his mouth or turns his head, just move on.
- Always supervise your baby and toddler when he’s eating. Choking isa real hazard.
- Start by serving your baby single-food purées. Wait at least one to two days before introducing another food in case there is an allergicreaction.
- Just because your baby doesn’t like a food, don’t stop serving it. Babies often need to be exposed to a new food up to 10–15 times beforethey’ll accept it. Try mixing it with a purée you know he enjoys.
- Aim to introduce your little one to as many new foods as possible inhis first 12 months of life. This will help prime his palate and hope-fully make him a more adventurous eater later on.
Don’t stay in the smooth purée stage for too long. Once your babyswallows easily, transition to chunkier meals.
To thin a purée, add a little breast milk, formula, or water. To thickena purée, stir in a little instant baby cereal.
A baby’s appetite varies from one day to the next—this is normal!
Don’t be shy about feeding your baby healthy fats such as olive oil,avocado, nut butters, dairy butter, or cheese. And be sure to givechildren under age two full-fat milk and yogurt. Fat is imperative forgrowing brains.