Cooking baby food is really easy and efficient. Unlike canned and prepackaged baby foods, you know exactly what goes into making food for your little one. So, no worrying about preservatives and other ingredients which can harm the baby. You can use the freshest fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat available to make the best food for your baby. Not only does homemade baby food have more nutritional value, but it also tastes much better.
Quick TipAlong with kitchen tools, pick up some baby food recipe books, such as the Great Expectations: Best Food for Your Baby & Toddler which not only provides recipes, but also covers a whole range of feeding stages for the first year of your baby's life.
To make baby food at home, you need to have certain kitchen tools at hand. These tools help you cook, grind, and purée baby food. These tools can range from fancy electric appliances to simple tools like a fork. This Buzzle article provides a list of the must-have tools and equipment to make baby food easily.
After washing and cooking the vegetables and fruits, you will need to purée them. A baby food processor works well to blend, mash, and purée the cooked foods. It is fast and efficient, and gives you the smoothest purée texture. It is, however, important to note that food processors are pricey, and some of the best ones in the market can set you back by around USD 100-150. However, if you are planning to make baby food everyday for the next two to three years, then it is wise to invest in a good processor instead of a cheap blender.
If you are looking for good baby food processors, then do checkout the Béaba Babycook Original, which is an all-in-one baby compact food maker that allows you to steam, blend, warm, and defrost. This means that, you need not invest in multiple products for cooking healthy baby foods. You can also take a look at the Cuisinart BFM-1000 Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer, which not only steams, chops, and blends food, but also acts like a bottle warmer!
If you do not want to invest in a food processor, then a blender should work quite well for all the pureeing and mashing tasks. Most of us already have blenders at home, which means, you do not have to invest in separate equipment for making baby food. If you don't own one, then you can get an inexpensive immersion blender. This handy appliance not only occupies less space, but it is also quite easy to clean.
Although they purée soft vegetables quite well, the only problem with these hand blenders is that they don't work well on hard vegetables. Moreover, they are less efficient at pureeing food as compared to food processors. If you want a blender, then do checkout the Baby Bullet Complete Babycare System, the Cuisinart CSB-75 Smart Stick Hand Blender, and the Hamilton Beach bébé Hand Blender.
Steaming is a healthy way of cooking food, as this method helps in retaining the nutrients and flavors of fresh vegetables and fruits. You can always invest in a separate steamer; however, you can fulfill your steaming requirements by investing in an inexpensive steamer basket.
Choose an adjustable stainless steel steamer basket that can fit a wide range of pots and pans. Just place the steaming basket with the vegetables in a pot of boiling water. Ensure that the basket remains well above the boiling water for more efficient steaming. Some popular steaming baskets in the market are Progressive International 11" Stainless Steel Steamer Basket, Chefmate Stainless Steel 9" Steamer Basket, and OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer.
Not many mothers make baby food everyday. Some make them in batches, and preserve the foods for later use. One of the best ways of storing baby food is by using ice cube trays with lids. The baby food is frozen in the trays and then defrosted when needed. Ensure that the trays you use are PVC- and BPA-free. You should also label clearly with the contents and expiry date. Check out Fresh Baby So Easy Storage Trays and OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Storage Containers that allow you to easily portion, store, and freeze homemade baby food.
Once your baby food is frozen into cubes, and you want to free up the space for more puree portions, you can use freezer bags to store the cubes. Label the plastic bags so that you know when the batch of cubes was made. You should ideally keep the baby food for no longer than three months. Use Glad Freezer Zipper Quart and Ziploc brand Slider Storage and Freezer Bags with the Smart Zip Seal to seal and protect the food properly.
Once your baby graduates to eating thick and chunky food, then a potato masher can be used for getting a lumpier texture. This tool is used to mash soft food to make dishes such as applesauce or mashed potato for your baby. The potato masher features an upright handle and a plate with holes or slits at the head. The OXO Good Grips Smooth Potato Masher, which features a solid stainless steel construction along with a firm, safe, no-slip grip and a hanging hole for easy storage, is a good option.
Never underestimate the power of simple everyday kitchen essentials. After all, when you have a wailing baby in one hand, it is not very easy to use a blender or a food processor. Well, if your baby has graduated to lumpier foods, then you can use a fork to mash the foods instead.
★ Pots and pans for cooking the food
★ Bowls of all sizes
★ Vegetable peelers
★ Sippy cups
Some parents also prefer a hand-turned food mill, which is essentially a bowl with a colander-like bottom and a crank that pushes food through the holes. Although it is great for softer foods like applesauce and butternut squash, it requires some effort. However, if you want a baby food maker that is cheap and works without electricity, then a baby food mill can work great for you. The KidCo BabySteps Food Mill, which has a medical grade stainless steel strainer and cutting blade along with a non-skid base, is a good option.