Homemade Baby Food Recipes

Homemade Baby Food Recipes

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  1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solid foods to your baby sometime between four and six months. The standard first food for babies is generally some form of rice cereal, but it is not uncommon for fruits, vegetables, and even meat to be your baby’s first food. You should consult your pediatrician as to what he/she recommends you start with when introducing solid foods to your baby. Below is a simple outline of sample foods for your babies age.

    First Foods: Ages 4-6 months

    Your baby’s first taste of food should be a single ingredient. The foods listed below are great choices for your baby’s first food because they are easy to digest and full of vitamins, minerals, fats and other nutrients a growing baby needs.

    Fruits: Avocados, Bananas, and Pears

    Vegetables: Acorn/Butternut Squash,  and Sweet Potato

    Grains: Organic brown rice cereal

    Stage 1 Baby Foods: Ages 4-8 months

    Once your baby seems to be tolerating the above easily digested foods you can begin adding the following fruits, vegetables, and grains to their diet.

    Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Mango, Nectarines & Peaches, Papaya, Pears, Plums & Prunes, and Pumpkin

    Vegetables: Green Beans, Carrots, Peas, Squash

    Grains: Oatmeal and Barley

    Stage 2 Baby Foods: Ages 6-8 and 8-12 months

    Stage 2 baby foods include all the foods that you have already given to your baby along with a few new foods, with the big additions being protein and dairy products.

    Fruits: (6-8 months) Peaches and Blueberries

    (8-10 months) Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Kiwi, and Persimmons

    Vegetables: (6-8 months) Yellow Squash/Zucchini and Parsnips

    (8-10 months) Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Fennel, Leeks, Mushrooms, and Peppers.

    Grains: Oats

    Protein: (6-8 months) Chicken, Turkey, and Tofu.

       (8-10 months) Beans/Legumes, Beef, Egg Yolks (Whole Eggs), Fish, Ham(natural),  and Pork.

    Dairy: (6-8 months) Plain Whole Milk Yogurt

    (8-10 months) Cottage Cheese – Colby – Jack – Cheddars

    Once you have decided what foods to start your baby off with, it may seem extremely daunting to tackle the idea of making all of your baby food at home. The reality of this is actually the exact opposite. Not only is it quick and easy to make your own baby food; taking only one hour per week, it is also much more cost effective; saving you an average of 25 cents per ounce of baby food. Now that we know the cost savings and the relative ease of making homemade baby food, lets get started with some simple homemade baby food recipes.

    First Foods and Stage 1 Foods: Cereals are recommended as first foods because they are the least allergenic food, but check with your pediatrician to make sure you can start off with any of the above listed first foods. All fruits and vegetables should be cooked, and any protein given should be cooked until there is no pink remaining. First Foods and Stage 1 Foods should be very runny, almost the consistency of breast milk/formula. This will allow your baby to learn how to swallow the food with the least hassle. As the baby gets more adept at taking food from the spoon and swallowing the purees will thicken. The best way to cook the fruits and vegetables is to steam or bake them as this helps them retain the majority of their nutrients. Potato and winter squash can be baked and the remaining fruits and vegetables can be steamed. Below are the steps you need to take to steam or bake your fruits and vegetables, followed by storage instructions.

    1. Leave all peels and skin on the fruits and vegetables and steam or bake them until they are soft.

    2. Remove the cooked fruits/vegetables and remove the skins/peels and place the cooked fruit/vegetable in your blender.

    3. Set your blender to grind/mash/puree and begin to mash the fruits/vegetables.

    4. When you are blending the fruit/vegetable you may add plain water or expressed breast milk to thin out the purees. Do not add expressed breast milk that has been previously frozen, as you are going to freeze the purees and you can not refreeze thawed breast milk.

    5. Allow the purees to cool and pour them into ice cube trays for storage. Once all the trays are filled, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer to freeze. Each cube will make approximately one ounce of food.

    6. Once the cubes are frozen, take the trays out of the freezer and place the cubes in freezer bags, making sure to note the day the food was made and the name of the fruit/vegetable. Frozen baby food should be used within 3 months of freezing.

    7. When it is time to feed your baby, simply take out cube(s) and defrost (either in the microwave or in a bowl of hot water) and feed to your baby.

    Stage 2 Baby Foods: Stage 2 Baby Foods for 6-8 months are generally just a thicker consistency of the Stage 1 Baby Foods. In Stage 2 you can also start blending fruit and vegetable combinations and adding grains to thicken the purees. Around eight months you can also introduce whole milk plain yogurt to your baby. Stage 2 Baby Foods for 8-12 months usually consists of softly mashed or finely cut up fruits/vegetables/proteins/pastas. After eight months you can also begin introducing raw fruits to your baby.

    Making homemade baby food is a really simple process that can save your family money and let you know exactly what is going into your baby. Please keep in mind that all new foods should be tried one at a time, for 3-5 days at a time to watch for any signs of allergic reactions. If fever, hives, cough, or vomiting should occur, stop the food and call your pediatrician. Once you have multiple foods that you know are allergy free for your baby, have fun and mix up different purees for you baby. The sky really is the limit.

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