Friday, September 30, 2005

Get Started Today Making Your Own Baby Food

There are great reasons to make your own baby food. Here we will discuss some of those reasons as well as ways to get started once you decide to go ahead and do it.

First, you will need the proper materials. You must have something to grind the food and a steam basket. The basket will sit on top of a pot of water. You will boil the water, using the steam in it to cook the veggies and keep the vitamins and minerals in the food instead of letting them soak into the water. You can try a simple metal steamer or the bamboo varieties for a good baby food steamer.

There are precious few places selling the grinders these days. Look online for a great deal. If you cannot find a grinder, you can try a very small food processor, as that should work as well and can convert to a family food grinder once baby no longer needs it. Another option is called a food mill, and this appliance strains the food to a very baby-food like consistency.

Remember to keep safety first when you are making food for baby. Your little one has a sensitive tummy, so you absolutely must wash your hands before you make food for your baby. Clean the utensils before you use them, even if you only used them to stir foods for Mom and Dad.

The food should be cooked and converted into baby food as soon as you remove it from the refrigerator instead of waiting for it to return to room temperature. Also keep in mind that if you make an excess, which you most often will, then you should store and freeze it as soon as you make it. This food will have no preservatives, and baby's immune system is not fully developed, even if you are breast-feeding. That is why you must take extra precautions with safety to avoid any bacteria getting into baby's food.

When you do freeze foods, do so deliberately. You should use a spoon to measure out the baby food. Put it in dollops on a cookie sheet, the way you would cookie dough. Allow the food to freeze and then store - with labels indicating the food and date!

You can use plastic freezer bags or containers, or you can use boiled baby food jars. The foods will keep for up to two months.

Baby food is a less expensive way to feed your baby. Also instead of relying on the limited selection available in baby foods, you can be sure that you are providing a wide array of foods for your little one. For example, most baby food companies make only squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes in the first foods line, but you can use your imagination to add to your baby's choices.

Making your baby food can be fun, and while more tedious than picking up jars at the store, it is less expensive and will help you transition the little one to real food.

By Julia Mercer

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