Making your own baby food is easy and affordable. It is preferable to make your own - you then know exactly what your little one is eating as home preparation allows you to control the ingredients so you can feed your baby wholesome foods without any unnecessary additives.
Baby food preparation is a simple procedure. All that you will really need is a peeler, a pot for boiling, a steaming basket, a potato masher, a blender or food processor, and a fine strainer or moulie. If you plan to prepare more food than can be consumed in just a day or two, you'll need to think about storage and freezing the extra. In this case, storage containers with lids are a must and you will also need ice cube trays and freezer bags. There are other accessories such as the apple corer which make your life easier…but the above are all the essentials.
For baby you will require a highchair or equivalent (such as the MeToo Chair or Lobster) that meets safety standards with a safety harness. For mess - bibs, feeding bowls or plates (one with a suction base is very useful), and a floor mat or newspaper on the floor are a must. Use a soft rubber-tipped spoon to avoid injuries to gums and these spoons are fabulous as they are designed to be sterilised under high temperatures for your babies safety.
Always ensure that all equipment is spotlessly clean - baby's digestive systems are very sensitive, so you do not want to introduce any bacteria.
When preparing fruit and vegetables, start with fresh produce that is fully ripe.
Food selection – choose only seasonal fruit and vegetables will be the freshest and most affordable produce – for more information on seasonal eating click here. Home-made food is more affordable (than commercial alternatives) if you use seasonal food as it is abundant and more reasonably priced.
There are some fruit and vegetable that require no cooking – like bananas and avocado. Simply mash these up – add breastmilk/formula or cooled boiled water to get the consistency right…and you have a wholesome easy homemade meal!!
Other fruit and vegetables will need some cooking. To start, cut away any bruised areas and remove all skins and seeds.
The best way to prepare fruit and vegetables is to steam them or to boil them in a little water. Clean thoroughly, remove skins (and/or seeds), and then cut them into chunks.
When steaming, place pieces into a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and steam until they are nice and soft. When boiling, cover with just a small bit of water and boil until tender, usually about 10-15 minutes, depending on the type of fruit or vegetable chosen and the size of the chunks. (keep the water…see below)
Place cooked food through into a sieve, moulie, blender or food processor and puree until they reach the desired consistency. Meats can be poached, pureed, and frozen, too.
Once you have the puree all ready, store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to two days. If you have prepared extra for later use, simply fill the sections of the trays (there are different options available) with the pureed foods. If your tray does not have a lid, cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper, and freeze. Once frozen, you can pop the cubes into freezer bags or storage containers for storage of up to one month.
So there you have it.... it's that easy to make your baby good, fresh, healthy food - enjoy!