A Little Food For Thought
There are so many great ideas for homemade baby food that are nice and simple, as well as so many reasons why this could be the best for your baby.
We can spend so much time dieting, counting calories, reading ingredients in our foods, and trying to be sure that we are only consuming the better foods for ourselves, but hardly give this a second thought when picking up the prepackaged fruits and veggies for our babies. I think our minds are easily settled at the fact that it is just simply fruit or vegetable that we are getting, and the labor of pureeing is already done for us. True, it can take a little of our time out of the day to prepare and puree our own baby food, but this can be done in amounts that can easily be frozen and used when ready.
I think that its very important that we take into consideration the extremely long shelf life that these prepackaged baby foods have. Because of this being the case, this means preservatives, additives, and foods being cooked at very high temperatures to kill bacteria, but also killing all the vitamins and nutrients that are essential for healthy brain function and development in our babies, as well as for their overall health. When making the decision to make their food right at home, there is no worry or concern about whether your baby is getting all of their nutrients, or what’s really hiding in the food. So sad to say, and I have never experienced this myself, but have seen quite a few reports of people finding bees, bugs, and even shards of glass in their prepackaged baby foods. Scary stuff!!
Ready For The Solid Foods
Most babies begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. Some a little sooner. Mommies can usually pretty much tell when their little one is ready for some solid food, especially when the thickening the milk with baby cereal trick just isn’t quite hitting the spot anymore. It is always best to introduce one ingredient at a time to your baby instead of mixed together, just in case your baby has an allergy or intolerance to something. This would make it easier to find out what exactly may have caused the reaction. Also, it is important to know the difference between an allergy and an intolerance to food. Food allergies cause adverse effects in the immune system, whereas, a food intolerance affects the digestive system, due to the body lacking certain enzymes needed to digest certain foods. Though an intolerance could be less serious, symptoms can be similar and is often mistaken as an allergy.
APPLES – contains antioxidants, great source of fiber, calcium, and potassium
PEARS – contains antioxidants, great source of fiber, aids in digestion
BANANAS – potassium, magnesium, protein, carbohydrate, fiber
PEACHES – rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, great source of fiber, rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, copper, and iron
STRAWBERRIES – contains antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and manganese
APRICOTS – high in antioxidants, rich in fiber, contains vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium
AVACADO (actually a fruit; a pear known as the alligator pear) – a super food, packed with nutrients, loaded with fiber, high in potassium and oleic acid, contains, vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, and copper
PEAS – great source of protein, fiber, vitamins B, C, and K, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, potassium, and magnesium
CARROTS – contains antioxidants, great source of fiber, rich in vitamins A, B, C, and K, rich in potassium, copper, manganese, iron, and pantothenic acid
SWEET POTATOES – great source of vitamins A, B, and C, fiber, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, and copper
GREEN BEANS – protein, very high in fiber, great source of folic acid, vitamins A, B, C, and K, potassium, copper, manganese, silicon, iron, and calcium
All of these can either be boiled, steamed, or even baked to get some tenderness to be sure to get a nice smooth puree. Of course, things like bananas, peaches, apricots, avocado, and strawberries can be blended to a nice puree as it already is. Put your fruit or veggies in the blender or food processor with enough baby water so that, once well blended, the consistency is like a smooth, loose puree. Baby food mills are great for this as well. Again, its always good to do a nice amount of this at a time so you have some to freeze and can pull it out when you are ready to use it. There are also freezing trays available for this.
Know that the fruit and veggie list does not stop here, as these are just to name a few. Healthy eating habits can start being taught to your baby as soon as you decide to introduce the solid foods. It is never too soon, because our mission is to expose them to as less additives as we possibly can. So go ahead. Save yourself some money and have fun with the whole thing. Remember that a healthy baby is a happy baby!!