There is obviously some debate when it comes to commercial or homemade baby food. Both commercially prepared and homemade baby food are seen as nutritious choices for a baby. However, homemade baby food has the edge on the nutrition front. A major factor for consideration is in preparation. Homemade cooking gives an individual complete control over the ingredients and this would involve making the child’s food free from additives and can be flavored to suit the child’s wishes. As a result, parents always know what is entering their child’s body. Food texture can also be customized according to the age of the child.
Many parents will believe that making baby food takes more time and effort than they are able to devote. In reality, parents with a small amount of time can follow a few simple steps to prepare their own homemade baby food. First they need to familiarize themselves with all the menus and baby food recipes. It would be wise to read and look into a baby food cookbook for preparation tips and recipes. Homemade baby food nutrition is very dependent on how it is prepared. If prepared incorrectly, it can turn out less healthy than commercial baby food. On the other hand, if properly prepared, then the parent can be sure that the food meets all the child’s nutritional needs.
What are the most important things to remember in preparation?
Make sure all your utensils, containers and work area are clean.
Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water before you start food preparation. Wash them again if you are called away from your food preparation or if you have to sneeze or cough.
Use food choices from the menu.
Wash fruits and vegetables and remove the skins.
Fresh ingredients are a must.
Do not add salt, sugar or spices.
Don’t allow foods to sit out on the food counter for long during preparation.
When the food is finished, take out the part that will be used to feed the baby at this meal and immediately freeze the remaining portions.
Stir food thoroughly and check for hot spots before serving food to the baby.
Be very careful to mark the date of processing and freezing.
Make it a habit to never defrost baby food on the counter.
Defrost in the lower part of the refrigerator or in a low heat microwave.
Never refreeze remaining portions.
Small bits of food can cause choking in a baby. If possible, use a food mill to blend food until smooth to make it easier to swallow. Organic ingredients are also a healthy alternative, making homemade baby food an even better choice. Homemade baby food may be covered and kept refrigerated up to a maximum of three days. However, the stored food should not be served directly from the storage container, as bacteria from the baby’s saliva might spoil the remaining portion, and uneaten portions should be kept in the freezer.
Parents can slowly introduce new homemade baby food in the child’s diet. New foods should be introduced over time, but no more than once every three days. This makes it easier to detect allergies and the child’s inability to tolerate the newly introduced food. Cooked and strained or pureed fruit can be a good start after rice grains. Eating habits during the first two years of life may persist for years or a lifetime. Homemade baby food is a healthy decision, and is well worth the time it takes to prepare. Every precaution should be followed to avoid any type of health risk and to ensure a healthy child for life.