Commercial baby food is expensive and sometimes has questionable ingredients. Making baby food yourself is simple and — with tasty baby food recipes easy to do in your kitchen — prepping food for your six or 12 months old is uncomplicated.
Making Baby Food for Six Months Old Infants
Whenever possible, incorporate locally and organically grown, in-season fruits and vegetables. At six months of age, the number of teeth you baby has varies, but s/he will certainly try to begin chewing foods. If baby has never had a solid food before, start with veggies. While there is nothing wrong with fruits, consider that some infants may turn up their little noses at the not so sweet veggies after tasting the much more palatable fruits.
First Time Baby Food: Homemade Sweet Potato Mush
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, fiber and vitamin B6. Making sweet potato baby foods involves baking the potatoes in the oven, scooping out the softened flesh, adding a touch of olive oil – just a couple of drops – and using a masher to prepare a soft mush. Thin overly thick mush with a bit of breast milk, until it has a runny but not liquid consistency.
Baby Food Recipes for 12 Months Old Infants
At 12 months old, your baby has probably had her/his fill of pureed and mashed veggies and fruits. Making baby food for this age group involves an introduction to chewable food choices and also a mix of various food groups.
Baby Food: Homemade Tofu Dish
Crumble soft tofu into a pan, add a few drops of olive oil and sauté it over low heat for a few minutes. Add a bit of black pepper and salt to taste. Combine these crumbles with homemade sweet potato baby food or serve as a standalone dish. As a variation, place soft tofu into a blender and process until it has a creamy consistency. Add chunks of other baby foods into the mixture.
Using Meat When Making Baby Food
Babies rely on breast milk or formula for their protein needs at six months of age, but as the children get older – usually 10 to 12 months — it is tempting to start adding meat to their dishes. Add meat to your baby food recipes one flavor at a time to decrease digestive upset.
Baby Recipes: Chicken!
Chicken is rich in protein, selenium and vitamin B6. If you remove the skin and visible fat, it is also low in fat. Serve dark meat from the drumstick – which is richer in flavor – than white meat from the breast. Of course, if junior finds the taste too strong, use the white breast meat after all. (Do I need to point out that using meat from an organically fed, free-range chicken raised without antibiotics is a better choice than the alternative?)
Steam your chicken. Make sure to cook the meat through – no pink middle! – before letting it cool a bit. Puree it with just a bit of olive oil and breast milk. Do not add spices or salt, since the oil already adds some flavoring to the meat.
Caveat: Discuss your decision to introduce solid foods with your pediatrician before actually offering homemade baby food to your infant. If you rely on homemade baby food recipes, make sure that s/he sees no problem with the ingredients and methods you propose. Remember: what is fine and perfect for one infant might elicit an allergic reaction in another!