A while back I posted a blog called Tips For Making Baby Food. Since then, I’ve had a bit more experience and more to share on the topic. So here we go…
The puree stage passes so quickly!
Something I didn’t realize when I started making my own baby food was that this stage is here and done SO quickly. When I started making homemade baby food, I felt like I was preparing to make an army of babies sweet potato puree for a year!
So take my advice and don’t invest too much money into stuff to make baby food. In my opinion, the Baby Bullet systems are overpriced and take up too much space. Most of my friends have them, but once you’re done making baby food you have to store these contraptions somewhere for another year or two or three until you have another baby. Crazy. I used a Cuisinart hand mixer to puree the baby foods and it worked great! Now that I’m done making purees, I still use it almost every day to mix up a quick yogurt shake for myself and my son. Plain whole milk yogurt, juice and a splash of vanilla extract and you have a great toddler or adult snack! Then you just rinse off this little contraption.
Those little net feeder things are wonderful!
Target, Amazon and probably a bunch of other places sell little net feeder things by Munchkin. They are little nets that you can put whole foods inside of so baby can suck out the juices and flavor but not choke. I loved these for introducing solid foods.
Once your baby starts grabbing for whole foods and has enough control with their hands and fingers to grip something, you can start offering them this.
I’ve also heard of parents giving their babies ice chips or frozen fruits in these to help with teething pain.
Just beware that baby has potential to make a gigantic mess if you don’t monitor them. I decided to put a cube of frozen prune puree in this for Cameron. Then I turned my back to put away some dishes. When I turned back around, my baby and everything around him was covered in sticky purple prune ooze.
Websites are cheaper than a book
I shared this in my previous post, but this is a great go-to website for those of you who want to make your own baby foods: WholesomeBabyFood.com.
I think someone even gave me a book on homemade baby foods, but I ended up just referencing this website because it was so easy to maneuver.
Rice Cereal is not the bomb
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met talk about rice cereal as if it is the flowing river of life for babies.
The reason it is used as a first food for babies is purely because it is easy on the tummy and on the digestive tract and because it isn’t a potential allergy problem. That is it. There is nothing special or magical about pureed rice and there’s no reason to continue feeding it to your baby religiously once they are ready for other foods.
Rice cereal is not more nutritious than other foods (in fact it is less than many) and despite what people tell you, it doesn’t guarantee your kid will start sleeping through the night. If your child is breastfed, it may help them sleep a tad bit longer, but at the only time in their life when their brain and body are growing at such an exponential rate do you really want to be trying to feed them less? I understand that for some people it is something tried in order to avoid insanity from lack of sleep. However, for me, it was important to remember that feeding my child so often was a sacrifice I would only have to make for a few short months of their life. So for me personally, it was worth just feeding them when they were hungry, rather than spending a lot of time and energy trying to manipulate their schedule and being frustrated when it didn’t work out. I found Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child to be a great resource when trying to understand babies sleep patterns.
So if you want my opinion, at least add the rice cereal to some other kind of food so your baby can start to experience and enjoy other flavors. Or sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Instead of rice cereal all the time, I also tried giving Cameron pureed quinoa and oats. Or, if you’re gonna do rice, at least go with brown rice. White rice is truly empty calories.
And if you need ideas for combinations of foods, simply walk down the baby food aisle in the grocery store and take notes on a few that sound tasty.
Mason jars are the way to go
Like I mentioned earlier, this stage of puree will pass so quickly. I spent money on little plastic containers for storing and transporting baby food from Baby Bullet and honestly I hardly ever used them.
What I should have done was go to the hardware store (Ace, Miners, etc.) and bought small, wide mouth mason jars for canning (4oz or 8oz). You can freeze these jars and simply place in the fridge to defrost when you’re ready to use them. (Did you know that you’re not supposed to freeze baby food jars? The glass is not meant to be frozen and can leave shards of glass in the baby food.)
You can find 1,000 other adorable uses for mason jars in your kitchen or around your house once you no longer need them for purees.
I hope these tips help!