Whether it’s your first baby or you are a practised parent with a few little ones in the house, it’s always a challenge to create food habits. Each child is completely different with what they like and what they refuse to eat, making it hard to have a universal, golden rule. But there is one rule that can be used across the board – and that’s ditching big commercial brands and making your own food for your baby. You’ll be so glad you did it!
Why make your own baby food?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually cheaper to stray away from big names and do it in your own kitchen. Once you’ve got your head around the basics, and you’ve built shopping habits around self-made food, you’ll find it’s actually much easier than trying to shop for the right brands for things your baby will want to eat (and things that have high nutritional value). It’s not as much planning as you might think – just a simple change to your daily habits. It’s a small change which will have a huge effect on both you and your baby.
How to make baby puree that they will eat
The first thing we all think of when we think of baby food is (of course) puree. And before your child goes onto solid food, it is an absolute lifesaver got getting the right nutrients into them. Also, it’s really simple to make! You can make baby puree out of just about anything, from avocado and zucchini to sweet potato, carrots, watermelons and apples. The list is endless and quite logical. Once you’ve got into the habit of making up nice smooth puree which is full of nutrients, you’ll never look back. You might even start eating it yourself, many parents do!
Cook the vegetable or fruit first
Either steam it (this is the healthiest option as it tends to lock in more nutrients than other cooking methods), bake it, or even put it to boil. If you’re stuck for time a microwave will do the trick.
Put the liquid to one side
This is a really important part of the puree and you will need it to make the texture right later on. It’s also an extra way to insert back in some of the vitamins and other nutrients, depending on what it is you’re making puree out of.
Blend into a puree substance
Using a blending machine, some of which you can actually set to “puree” mode, you simply add the food in and add the liquid as you go. Using the above-mentioned liquid will help to make it smooth and thin it out. A little trial and error with your baby will determine what they like best, but at first, just use your best judgement when it comes to getting the texture right. If it’s nice and smooth, you’ve basically got it!
Making baby’s first finger foods
As with making up puree type food, what you make (and how you make it) depends on each individual child. You’ll find out as you go what they like, what is a safe bet when they’re struggling to eat, and what to stay away from. Some of the best ideas for finger foods are:
- Soft fruit, cut into holdable strips or chunks
- Puffs and dry cereal
- Fish (softer than meat and full of nutrients)
- Steamed broccoli
As you can probably imagine, there is very little in “making” finger foods, as you generally just prepare them, make sure they are in a shape that your child can hold, and that’s it. The trick is in knowing what to prepare, but again, you will find as you go what is good to have on your shopping list. Don’t be afraid of trying your child with pieces of broccoli and other vegetables. A common mistake is making an assumption that they won’t like it, and ending up with other, less healthy food. They might just surprise you!
Getting your child to eat healthy food
If there was an easy answer to this, you’d have already heard of it. The truth is, some babies and some children are harder than others, and some parents have it harder than others! One thing to watch out for is packaged up, branded food which can be loaded up with sugars and sweeteners, making your child prefer a sweet taste. This can become troublesome later on when you want to try vegetables and more plain foods, as they’ll already have a taste for all things sweet. Another good reason to make food at home, so you know for sure there are no additions to your baby’s food. If you’re having trouble with this, or you simply want to make life a little easier, Vitabiotics Wellbaby is a superb way of making sure your baby has the right vitamins – you can use it from birth, right up to 4 years, and it has 14 vitamins and minerals which are specially formulated for this young age. Certainly worth a try!