What are the benefits of making baby food at home, you may ask. Well, home-made is a far tastier and more nutritious choice than supermarket-bought jars for baby food. It is also cheaper than buying commercially prepared baby food. Most importantly, it allows you to be completely in control of what your child is eating instead of being left to wonder about what additives and preservatives he or she may be absorbing from their food.
When can I start making baby food at home?
NHS and other guidelines tend to suggest beginning the weaning process at about six months. You can wait a little later if you prefer, although in some cases doctors may recommend starting to introduce pureed food from four months, such as in cases where a child suffers from reflux.
How do I make baby food at home?
It’s very simple. Seek advice online or from your healthcare professional as to which ingredients are suitable for which age group. As a general rule, it’s best to start with vegetables and fruits. Babies naturally enjoy sweeter flavours, so sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots tend to be favourites.
These also mix well with some fruits so try butternut squash and pear, for example. Avocado has a great texture, delicate flavour and mixes well with other ingredients. Try mashed avocado and banana. Organic is obviously best. Vegetables and harder fruits should be cooked gently, ideally using a steamer or the microwave, then pureed in a blender or food processor.
You can control the texture of home-made baby food very easily; this is determined by the length of time you puree. Longer periods in the blender or food processor produce softer, smoother baby food. When your child is ready to start eating food with greater texture, you simply run the blender for a shorter time in order to leave some lumps.
Storing home-made baby food
You can buy jars for baby food at Wares of Knutsford in order to store what you have made. Before filling, wash the jars in hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly, then sterilise. Fill the jars with baby food, seal and keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze your home-made baby food in small portions.
To serve, simply heat the food in a warming device designed for the purpose or in a bowl of hot water. Stir thoroughly and carefully test the temperature of the food before using.