Homemade Baby Food



Buying baby food can often be expensive. Here are tips on how to make your own baby food.

Before You Start

*NOTE: Always introduce non-gluten based cereals (rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth) before fruits and vegetables, once tolerated; introduce gluten grains (preferably 12+ months for example: wheat, barley, oats).

• Wash your hands before preparing food.
• Use clean/sterile surfaces, cutting board, equipment and containers to cook and store food.
• Buy organic produce when possible, if not, pre-wash in vinegar water.

What You Will Need

The following items are useful for making baby food:

• Food processor/blender or hand mixer
• Spatula
• Fork or masher
• Ice cube trays or small plastic cups, popsicle moulds, and freezer safe bags
• Strainero

Methods of Making Baby Food

1. CHOP (uncooked)
Foods can be finely chopped or scraped/scooped, then mixed with liquid if necessary.

2. BLEND (typically cooked foods)
Using the blender, hand mixer or food processor is an easy and fast way to make baby food. Cut cooked or ripened food into cubes. Blend foods with sterilized water or cooking water, breast milk or formula. Blend to desired consistency. Use a rubber spatula to push down and remove food. Do not blend potatoes - just use fork.

3. MASH
Use a fork or masher to puree soft food. Ripe bananas and cooked foods with no skins or seeds can be mashed. Cooked apple, white or sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and egg yolks are easy to mash.

4. SIEVE OR STRAINER
You can use a strainer or clean, fine mesh wire and spoon to push some foods through.

5. HOW TO FREEZE BABY FOODS
An easy way to freeze baby foods is in food cubes or cups and transfer to freezer safe bags once frozen to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to one (meats and recipes with added breast milk or formula) or two months only. Cover and freeze cooked food immediately after it is prepared. Keep pureed food in a covered container in the refrigerator for no more than three days. Do not reheat or re-freeze foods.

Preparation

Cooked Fruits (6+ mths.)
*MYTH: Introduce vegetables before fruit. This is not necessary - fruits are easier to digest.
• Thoroughly wash fresh fruit - even organic! Peel and remove seeds either before or after boiling. Cook in boiling water or steam until soft. Puree or strain so all of the lumps are gone. Make sure there are no seeds or skin in the fruit.

Ripe Banana and Other Fresh Fruit
• Ripe bananas have a brown skin with spots. Mash with a fork. Other fresh fruits that do not require cooking (if ripened) include mangoes, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots, and pears.

Vegetables (6+ mths.)
• To cook: boil, steam or bake, then blend or mash.
• If the baby foods are too thin, add baby cereal at feeding time, and if they are too thick, add juice from the cooked vegetables before freezing. DO NOT add salt, sugar, or fat.
• By 6 months of age, sweet potato, carrots, squash, peas, and beans are suitable firsts whether homemade or commercially prepared, and should be tolerated. Due to high nitrate levels found in carrots, only commercially prepared strained or junior carrots should be served.
• Potatoes and squash should be baked with skin on then scraped out and mashed with a fork.

Meat and Meat Alternatives (7 to 8+ mths.)
• Do not add salt or fat.
• Use lean meats for first year.
• Boiling or steaming is best.
• With chicken: use dark and light meat as chicken fat is higher in dark meat and is good for baby (they do not have to watch their waistline!).
• Ensure all bones are removed from fish and always puree.

Please refer to the feeding guidelines on the Healthy Sprouts™ website for further information and for a list of foods to avoid.

*Please note that all recommendations are guidelines only and we recommend that you consult with your family physician before introducing solids to your infant. Visit www.healthysprouts.ca for additional feeding guidelines.

Healthy Eating!

Healthy Sprouts provides frozen organic baby food. All of their products are certified organic by an accredited certification body. Their products are prepared in a federally approved world-class facility - food safety and quality is their top priority. For more information, visit their website at www.healthysprouts.ca.

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