Whoops! Here it is Wednesday morning in my corner of the world and "Tasty Tuesday" didn't happen this week. What DID happen instead is SPRING! :-) My boys and I spent the day outside - taking a walk, having a picnic lunch, playing in the sandbox, hanging laundry on the line and just enjoying the lovely warm weather. The temperature bumped 70 degrees yesterday for the first time this year, and it made this family HAPPY!

Yet how well I know that many of you are enduring temperatures of 100 degrees or more right now, and early Spring weather seems like a far-off dream. So I will stop talking about the weather, and move on to my belated post . . .

 

I'd been in West Africa for about two months when I suddenly realized that my baby would be ready to eat solid food soon. I panicked. All I could remember my mom doing for my younger sister was adding a little water to some flakes or popping the lid on a jar of baby food. (I was only 6, so that doesn't mean that's all she DID do. But it's all I remember.) There was a type of instant food available where I lived, but it was full of sugar and milk and I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to start with. But what WAS the right thing? At the time we had limited internet, and I felt at a loss to know what to do. Was it possible to make your own baby food? Surely it must be. But how?

Fast-forward four years, and I'm now preparing homemade baby food for my third six-month-old baby boy. This time not because I have no other choice (have you ever looked at the kinds of baby food available? Unbelievable!!) but because it's so much cheaper and healthier to make it myself. And really very simple!

CEREAL

For new eaters, grains need to be ground into a powder before cooking for best results. You can do this in a blender or food processor, but it will take a while. Grinding rice in my blender takes about ten minutes, and I still sift it when I'm done to get out the random large pieces. I don't actually have a flour sifter, so I use a tea strainer! :-) It works great since I'm only doing small amounts at a time. Whatever grain you're using - rice, oats, barley, millet - once you grind it, cook it like porridge.

1/4 c. grain flour

1 c. water

Because I'm doing such a small amount,  I just mix the water & flour, put it on the stove, and whisk constantly as it's coming to a boil. Be sure to boil for several minutes - less for oats, more for rice - so that the grain is cooked. Cool to room temperature before serving. Mix with breastmilk or formula (or just water) if the cereal is too thick. You can combine this with fruit or veggie puree as well, to make a "balanced meal". :-)

FRUITS & VEGGIES

With the exception of banana and avacado, which are the best superfoods for little people, fruits and veggies need to be cooked at first. Apples, pears, peaches, peas, sweet potato, pumpkin and carrots are all great first foods which need to be gently cooked to a very soft consistency before mashing (or pureeing in blender) to feed to baby. Introduce foods one at a time to test for allergies, but once a food is "safe" you can mix it with other foods to create yummy combinations for your little one. And it won't be long before you can introduce spices and seasonings as well - research shows that the more variety of foods  a baby is introduced to before age 1, the easier it will be for them to accept new foods as they get older.

You can find an abundance of information on feeding your little one at Momtastic's Wholesome Baby Food. I especially like their printable chart for when to introduce different foods - I've printed this out and taped it to my fridge for reference with each of my babies.

And one more thing . .  everything I've said here is based on the traditional feeding approach. I've never tried baby-led weaning, but  if you're into it, that's great! Maybe you can write an article about it for us? :-)

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  • Guest - Lysanne

    That's great information! Two things i have found helpful for making babyfood in Africa are a hand babyfood grinder....a very simple small foodmill. I often just put whatever parts of the family supper that were appropriate for my baby through the mill for instant baby food. Also, I used a little steamer basket that can sit inside a pot on top on whatever else i am cooking. Made it easy to steam some veggies for baby while our supper cooked.

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  • For the kid’s baby food must be hygienic and full of vitamins and minerals which will boost their health and stay active. Thank you for the wonderful article to share about kids food that would be informative for the parents.

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  • Guest - John

    I always enjoy while reading posts on this website and this is very helpful stuff which you have shared here about Making Your Own Baby Food. I am very thankful to you for sharing this recipe with us and i will must try to make it soon.
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