Honest-to-goodness healthy food for babies
Since day one, it was never really in the cards to buy store bought baby food for any of our children. Mr. D and I try to give our kids only the best. And when it comes to baby food, home made and definitely from scratch, is the only logical choice. As far as we were concerned, there was no other option besides that. Why, you might ask? Because baby food made in your own kitchen with the greatest care, with only the freshest ingredients can never be compared to the bottled ones mass produced in factories. If you read food labels like we do then you'd know that even the so-called food products for our little ones contain preservatives that are toxic to humans. Making your own baby food is way healthier and safer for your baby. And it doesn't come with a hefty price tag those popular branded baby food does.
There are different ways to go about making your own baby food. You can choose from a variety of tools and equipment for making it, which are all readily available at malls or supermarkets. If you don't mind a little elbow grease then you can use an old school Japanese strainer made of fine horse hair, a hand masher, a ricer or a manual juicer. If you're in a hurry, have money to spend and unfortunately like me, have weak arms, then you might want to have a go at a blender, a food processor or my personal favorite a hand emulsifier.
Now, should we boil or steam? Based on a lot of research we found out that some nutrients in vegetables, known as water-soluble vitamins, dissolve in water. And the longer vegetables are submerged in water, the more vitamins seep out, much more so when heat is involved. So steaming really is the better cooking method to use. Don't forget to season with salt or a bit of natural sweetener to adjust your baby food to your baby's liking. Our Little Miss Banshee, we found out, tends to lean towards savory more than sweet. She hates apples and bananas. She likes pumpkin, yam, and carrots. Ok, those are kind of sweet, so maybe she just doesn't like fruits and is just more into veggies.
It's not rocket science, anyone can make this. You just need to peel, in our case, the vegetables. Cut them in medium sized chunks. Just make sure the cuts are as uniform as possible for even cooking all throughout. We season ours with Turmeric powder, sea salt and black pepper. Then steam until tender but not overcooked. Then we blitz it in the blender until we reach the right consistency and get rid of as much lumps as we can.
Here's one of our daughter's personal favorites. Yam with Malunggay leaves freshly picked from the tree we have in our front yard. We just added the malunggay leaves to the steamer a couple of minutes before the yams would be fully cooked. Did you know that Malunggay and Turmeric are both superfoods? More on that in another article. So, FYI, we have just made super baby food people!
- yam + pumpkin
- pumpkin + carrot
- yam + carrot
- yam + malunggay
Our daughter isn't that adventurous when it comes to her meals, so it's usually just one kind of vegetable or a combination of two. Introducing fruits to her is a bit of a challenge, so we just sneak it in there in small amounts. She doesn't even know it's there haha.
Another useful tip is not to make large batches. Since they don't have preservatives they don't last very long even when stored in the fridge. I suggest only making a batch that would last for three days max, more than that and you might risk it spoiling on the fourth day. I have experienced that first hand and I've definitely learned my lesson.
Do you make your own baby food? Isn't it just great?! Your baby gets to have the healthiest, safest and after a tremendous amount of practice, tastiest food there is, while still stretching your peso!