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How to Prepare Homemade Baby Food and Snacks

Preparing homemade meals is a great way to ensure your baby or foster child is getting wholesome, nutritious food. Making your own baby food takes a bit of planning, but it doesn't have to be complicated. With a little practice, you'll be an expert in no time! This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to start making healthy, delicious homemade baby food and snacks.

Preparing for a New Arrival

If you're getting ready to welcome a new foster child or baby into your home, preparation is key. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies - a highchair, bibs, small bowls and spoons, and sippy cups. Baby-proof your home by covering sharp corners, keeping small objects out of reach, and installing safety gates.

Shop for healthy, wholesome ingredients to have on hand. Stock up on versatile foods like bananas, avocados, applesauce, rice, oats, yoghurt, eggs, and meats. Purchase a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to puree foods. Sterilise any cooking tools and equipment that will touch the food.

Learn about starting solids and nutritional needs for babies 6-12 months old. Talk to your health visitor or social worker from about any concerns. With a well-stocked kitchen and some know-how, you'll be ready to start making homemade meals.

Selecting Ingredients

The ingredients you select are key for nutritious, tasty baby food. Focus on single-ingredient foods at first, ideally organic. Good options include bananas, apples, pears, avocados, potatoes, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, chicken, beef, turkey, eggs, yoghurt, oats, quinoa, and brown rice.

Avoid added sugars, salt, preservatives, and heavily processed ingredients. Don't use honey until the baby is over 12 months due to botulism risks. Introduce new foods one at a time to watch for allergic reactions. Talk to your paediatrician about any concerns about ingredients or allergies.

Preparation and Storage

Steaming, boiling, or roasting vegetables and fruits helps retain nutrients. Cook meats thoroughly. Allow ingredients to cool before blending. Aim for a smooth, semi-liquid consistency, adding breastmilk, formula, or water as needed.

For storage, freeze purees in ice cube trays, then transfer it into bags. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat individual portions as needed. Avoid saving and reusing uneaten portions from baby's bowl to prevent bacterial growth.

Portion sizes depend on age and stage. A 6–9-month-old may eat 2-3 tablespoons per feeding, while a 9-12-month-old may eat 4-6 tablespoons, or about half a small jar of store-bought baby food. Adjust according to their hunger cues.

Snacks and Treats

Babies love to self-feed finger foods as they develop motor skills. Try soft cooked carrots, sweet potato sticks, apple slices, banana pieces, small pieces of cheese, pasta, and toast.

For sweet treats, blend plain yoghurt with mashed fruit like strawberries or blueberries. Make oatmeal or rice cereal more exciting by mixing in pureed fruit. Homemade teething biscuits made from oats, nut butter, and mashed banana or apple also make nutritious finger snacks.

Making homemade baby food does require some effort, but the payoff is big. You'll get the satisfaction of knowing exactly what's going into your baby's meals. Homemade food can help your baby develop a preference for wholesome, nourishing foods. With the right ingredients and a little practice, you'll be an expert baby food maker in no time!


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