Today’s ready-made baby foods are a cut above those from years past. It’s no longer difficult to find jarred foods that have no added sugar or salt, for example, and many brands now offer baby food made from organic ingredients.
Even so, if you want to give your baby the freshest, best-tasting foods, you might want to consider making your own baby food. It’s easier than you think.
Here’s a quick course in homemade fruits and vegetables, which will be among your baby’s first solids.
- Wash fruits or vegetables well.
- Remove any skin, pits, and seeds.
- Steam in a small amount of water until very soft.
- Puree in a blender or food processor.
That’s all there is to it! Whatever you don’t use right away can be stored for later use. Just pour the pureed food into ice-cube trays and freeze. One to four cubes, thawed, makes a perfect serving size for a baby.
Once your child has mastered the art of eating pureed foods, you can process the cooked foods more coarsely. Next, you can skip the food processor altogether and just mash the food with a fork. (Some fruits, such as bananas, don’t need pureeing at all and can be mashed with a fork right from the start.) Always be sure the food is of the appropriate consistency for your child, to prevent choking.
When introducing new foods to your baby, wait at least three days, and preferably a week, between each one so you can check for allergic reactions. Once you have established that your child is not allergic to certain fruits and vegetables, you can combine them for an added taste treat. A few favorites to try: sweet potatoes and pears, squash and apples, pears and bananas, peas and carrots.
For more advice, read our article on Starting Solids.