Health and safety are primary concerns of all parents. A parent’s instincts click in the moment their child is born. They want to be sure their little one gets the best the world has to offer.

One way parents can ensure a healthy start for their babies is by making their own healthy baby food. Most infants will start eating solid food sometime between the ages of 3 to 6 months old. Exactly when a baby begins solid foods is something parents should discuss with, and agree upon with their pediatrician. Babies first foods may consist of iron fortified cereal and pureed foods such as; apples, pears, bananas and sweet potatoes. As the baby grows and their digestive system is able to handle these foods, others will slowly be added. Pureed vegetables and eventually meats can be added to the baby’s diet.

For years, many good companies have been making, packaging and selling baby foods. While the convenience of buying and using these foods are nice, parents may choose to make their own baby food. Making one’s own baby food guarantees that the ingredients are fresh, organic if desired, and can save money.

Making healthy baby food can be simple or complex, the choice is up to the person doing the preparation. Organically grown fruits, vegetables, and even meats are excellent choices for parents who want to be sure their baby eats the healthiest foods available. Not everyone has access to organically grown foods; they should not feel that they are neglecting to feed their child well. Homemade baby foods without preservatives are a benefit to the baby.

Most parents will find it best to prepare their baby foods ahead of time and store them until use. Here, are some easy ways to prepare and store homemade baby food, for purposes of this article we will discuss fruits and vegetables:

Puree Foods for Infants

It will be necessary to have a blender or food processor on hand for pureeing foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be purchased, or picked if a home garden is available. These fresh foods will be washed and cooked. The best method of retaining nutrients is to steam the foods. If steaming is not an option, the foods can be baked in the oven or microwave, or boiled. Cook the food until it is soft, peel and seed if necessary, then puree it in a blender or food processor. Some foods may need a bit of liquid added; use breast milk, formula or water. As infants get older the foods can be mashed with a fork, leaving some consistency for babies to chew on. A small amount of seasoning may also be added as babies get older, and parents want to add more flavors.

Storing Homemade Baby Food

Making batches of food and storing it saves parents time and energy. Most foods can be frozen; unless they are to be eaten immediately, all prepared foods should be at least refrigerated. Foods can be safely refrigerated for up to 48 hours. If they are not going to be used in this time frame, they should be frozen. It is recommended that foods are cooled before freezing; parents may want to refrigerate them for a few hours then move to the freezer.

Clean ice cube trays are an excellent way to freeze homemade baby food. Pureed food is poured into the ice cube tray and covered with plastic wrap. Once the food is frozen, remove it from the tray and store it in freezer storage bags, or other freezer safe containers. The small cube portions work well for babies, each cube will be approximately 1 ounce of food.

It is recommended that frozen baby food is used within a month. Labeling the storage container with the date prepared will make it easy to track.

This basic information should be helpful to parents who want to embark on giving their baby a healthy start. Always remember to talk with the baby’s pediatrician before starting solid foods, and when adding new things to their diet.

 

By – Eileen Saw (http://www.articlesbase.com)