Making Baby Food

Making your own baby food is quick, easy, and fun. It really doesn't take much besides a pot, a food mill or food processor, and a bit of time.

When making baby food, prepare fresh fruits and vegetables by washing, peeling, and removing pits or seeds. Use only fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Canned vegetables are too high in salt. Canned fruits are very high in sugar and are not recommended for making baby food.

Remove all skin, fat, and bone from meats and cut produce and meat into cubes or chunks before cooking. Steam vegetables in a small amount of water until tender, but not mushy. Simmer ripe fruits until soft. Poach meats until fully cooked.

Be careful to not over-cook when making baby food if boiling or steaming. Over-cooking causes the vitamins and nutrients leach into the water and end up down the drain instead of in your baby. Alternately, you can boil or bake fruits and vegetables. Do not add salt, seasoning, sugar, sweeteners, butter, gravy, or sauces when making baby food. Your baby doesn't need them and they may change the taste and look of the baby food.

When your produce is ready to puree, add one or two tablespoons of the cooking liquid to help puree. This will help to produce to a smooth consistency. Blend the food for no more than 1 minute to retain the vitamins and nutrients in the food. Over-blending food, like over-cooking, can remove the essential vitamins and nutrients your baby needs.

You can store one to three servings of homemade baby food in your refrigerator for up to three days and freeze the remainder. The most convenient method of freezing homemade baby food is to use ice cube trays. Ice cube trays let you freeze your homemade baby food in single servings so heating and serving is just as easy as jarred baby food. Clean and sterilize your ice cube trays, then fill each compartment with puree. If you don't have ice cube trays with lids, cover your ice cube trays with waxed paper or freezer paper and plastic wrap.

Once your baby food is frozen, dump your frozen cubes of baby food into a freezer bag. Seal the bag tightly and label the bag with the date and type of baby food. When you make multiple batches of baby food it is easy to forget the type of baby food in each bag—especially if you made carrots and sweet potato on the same day. You can store frozen homemade baby food in the freezer for up to one month, so always label the freezer bag with the preparation date.

You'll find that making baby food is easy, fast, and a very economically and healthy alternative to buying processed baby food!

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