I remember the first time I tried to DIY baby food. My wife to this day still calls it “The Spaghetti Incident”. I didn’t let that deter me though. Like everything else in life, it became less intimidating the more I did it. Making your own baby food can be one of those proud moments. Especially when you see she like it.
Many people rely on baby food off the shelf in a supermarket and spend hours looking at ingredients. Some take a more DIY approach by making their own baby food. Making your own baby food is not as daunting a task as some may make it out to be, and has many benefits.
Why should I make my own food?
There are several reasons why you should consider making your own food. Making homemade baby food is sometimes very convenient. It allows you to include your child into family dinners, which will only help your baby bond with your family members. If you yourself prepare your babies food, you will be able to control what your baby eats personally. You won’t have to rely on the manufacturers to make out what is right for your child.
However, we won’t lie – making homemade baby food carries a few inconveniences. Baby food has shorter shelf life and will require refrigeration. Preparing the meals, especially in the early stages of introducing the child to solid foods, is a time-consuming process. You will probably need to prepare several portions in advance, and that takes time and effort, and space in your fridge.
But despite all of that, you should really give homemade food a thought. There is a way to prepare food for your child simply and quickly and without much effort. The best way of making this happen is in the stage where the child is being slowly introduced to table foods . You can set aside a portion for your baby and mash or put it in a processor, and voila, the meal is ready.
Like we said, preparing your own baby food is a great way of controlling what your child eats. In stage 1 and stage 2 you will probably want to introduce various flavors. But, as we know, this is best done one flavor at a time. Making baby food during this time is simple – just pick up a banana and mash it, and you’re all set. For that, you don’t need anything but a fork and about three minutes of your time.
In stage 3 and 4 of introducing solid foods, the process of making food is even easier. At this time, your child will be ready to eat about anything. So you don’t need to set aside special portions. If you have a processor, you can use it to make meals out of the food you yourself are eating. Put the food into the processor, add a bit water to soften the food, and blend it.
One very important thing about making food for babies is that the food must always be baked or cooked, steamed and microwaved. If your child is under 12 months old, they don’t have all their teeth. They will need to eat softer foods, so you will need to soften it up. However, cooking or baking food causes nutrients to be lost. This also happens with commercial food It is cooked at very high temperatures to ensure bacteria are destroyed and to ensure the food can sit for some time on the shelf. But the food is less nutritious as a result. Steaming the food is the best way of preserving the food’s nutritional value while making it soft enough for the child to eat.
However, like we said, homemade food can’t sit for long. Because it’s freshly made, the bacteria inside the food are still active and will cause the food to spoil. Homemade food also doesn’t contain any preservative. This is good, as the food is healthier, but it also means shorter shelf life. Commercial brand food can sit on your shelf for a long time. It doesn’t require refrigeration until the package has been opened.
The last hurdle in making your own baby food is convenience. Commercial food comes in measured packages. You know that one package is good for one meal. If you’re making food for your baby at home, you must measure the portions out by yourself. This is the main advantage of commercial baby food over homemade baby food, aside from the shelf life. The Infantino Squeeze Station is a great product that measures and fills single servings in pouches, to do in the fridge.
Some more tools for making food
Naturally, there are some tools that can make this whole ordeal of making food for your baby a lot more tolerable. These machines can be as simple as a fork, or as complex as all in one devices that do all the work for you.
Like we said, the simplest tool for making baby food is a fork. This is best for when the child is still very young, and you’ve just started introducing solid foods to your child. Add breast milk or baby formula to whatever you want to make the meal out off, and simply mash the food. Remember that the food doesn’t need to be too mushy, just mushy enough for your baby not to choke on it.
Another simple tool and one that is commonly found in the household is a blender. These machines are great for making larger batches, but there exist smaller devices that can be used for singular meals.
Food mills are more advanced devices you can use for making baby food. They come with a variety of blades that can mash of cut the food into tiny chunks, depending on your need and the child’s age. They can usually be attached to bowls, and can come with bowls of their own.
Lastly, as we have said above, there are all-in-one machines for making your own baby food. These are the most sophisticated pieces of equipment you can own, and they will both steam and puree the food for you, so you don’t have to hustle at all. They are, of course, the most expensive too.
Making Your Own Baby Food
As you can see, making your own baby food isn’t all that horrible, and can be very beneficial. You can control the food yourself, and measure out exactly how much your child eats. There are some hurdles you’ll face if you go down this road, and we can’t blame you for relying on commercial products (there sure are some great ones out there), but if you do try to make your own baby food, we certainly applaud you.