As a first time parent, I wanted to make sure that I was providing all the right things for my daughter. When my pediatrician gave the ok to start introducing solids to her, I wasn’t 100% sure where to start and I just kept having questions: What could she have? What can’t she have? When can I introduce the vegetable or fruit or meat? What about spices? How do I make sure she developed a palate and appreciate the food we eat?
When I went to the store, I knew that my daughter would eat stage 1 and 2 right off the bat. When I looked at the prices and compared them to what I got (i.e., mushed up peas and carrots), I noticed one jar or pouch cost as much as a bag of the fresh veggies. I knew the basics on how to make pureed baby food, but I wanted to experiment beyond avocado, bananas, and simple steamed and mushed up veggies.
Beyond talking to my pediatrician, the book The Baby and Toddler Cookbook, helped me out a lot. It guided me with some flavor combos that would be good for baby and the budget. It also goes into detail on what foods can be introduced at a given age. I especially loved some of the different flavors, that as a very cautious new parent, was surprised to read about such as beets, coconut, lentils, risotto, and quinoa. It opened my eyes to more than just the typical single-flavor purees of apples, carrots, and broccoli that I was cooking.
The great thing is that this book also discusses nutritional needs for your baby, what foods are considered gassy or may be hard to digest, when and how to offer finger foods, and so many other things that as a new parent, helped answer so many of my questions (and put a lot of fears at ease).
Making your own baby food is a lot simpler that what one would normally think – purees are usually nothing more than bringing a pot to a boil, add whatever vegetable or fruit you want to soften in a steamer, cover and cook until tender. When you’re done steaming, blend in a food processor, bullet, or whatever you have on hand with some water to get the consistency you want. Start to finish is about 15 minutes. You can then freeze whatever you wont be using in the near future in ice cube trays so that none of it goes to waste.
If you’re a new parent or about to be one, this is a great book to help build your confidence in what you can feed your baby so that it doesn’t get boring for him or her. It was a constant source of reference until I became more comfortable giving my daughter something beyond milk.
Do you think you’ll try or do you make your child’s food? Why or why not?