Making your own homemade baby food

11 Sep

It’s weaning time! You have agonised over when to start…maybe it is at 4 months, maybe you’ve waited until 6, but the time is now here to move beyond the milk into a whole new territory.  Where to even start? 

Weaning is an exciting time for new mums.  It is a milestone where you know your baby is growing and maturing into a little person.  But it can also be a daunting time.  Many mothers set out to make baby food from scratch, with Martha Stewart visions of trays upon trays of freshly pureed food, with soft music playing in the background whilst little one plays happily beside you.  Hmmm….reality can be harsh, and the more likely scenario is a screaming hungry baby, mum covered in sweet potato and baby refusing to eat all the gorgeous, nutritious food you’ve just slaved over.

    ice cube trays of homemade baby food     vs.     ice cube trays of baby food

To make the matter more complicated, an article in the BBC (read here) today highlights that there are many nutritional deficiencies in store bought baby food.  Many of the claims made by the baby food companies give mums a false sense of security that their babies are getting exactly what they need.  The criticism is that the foods are too sweet and babies are getting used to them.  Another thing for us mums to worry about and feel guilty about.  I don’t know one mum who can say with all honesty that she never used a jar, pouch or some form of baby food that wasn’t homemade.

There are numerous factors that may interfere with your goals towards making homemade baby food.  Time, convenience, tiredness all come to mind and there are indeed many more.  Lots of babies refuse mum’s food, don’t like the lumps or new tastes.  But we think you should persevere!  There are many benefits to keeping it fresh and you are able to see exactly what goes in to the food as well.  We have come up with some helpful tips towards making your job ‘pureeing’ that little bit easier.

Top tips for making homemade baby food:

1) Be organised – get your pots ready in advance. You can use ice cube trays, or mini tupperware pots, but it certainly will help if you line them up beforehand.

2) Batch cook so you can limit time spent cooking.  Most foods can be frozen, and then you can defrost a portion easily for the next meal.

3) Try new foods, be adventurous – just because you don’t like peas doesn’t mean your baby won’t.

4) Recipes in magazines can be adapted for babies eg blended, remove salt.  Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Tesco, they all have magazines at the till with healthy, seasonal recipes that you can adapt for your baby.

5) There are so many great cookbooks for baby food in case you can’t think of what to make.  Favourites include: any book by Annabel Karmel (also great weaning resources), River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook and The Top 100 Baby Food Recipes.

Annabel Karmel baby and toddler meal planner

6) Make for the whole family and blend up your baby’s portion.

7) Consider trying baby-led weaning, read about it here in a previous blog post.

Most of all, have fun! Enjoy making your food from scratch and seeing your baby (hopefully) eat it.  Try not to stress about mess, if they won’t try something or if they seem not to like a food.  You can always try again.

Julia Wolman, our expert nutritionist who runs Teeny Tummies, says “Weaning is a very exciting milestone. Watching your baby learn about food, and how to enjoy it, will bring you great joy. The key with ready-made baby foods is not to rely on them, every now and then they can be handy. Variety of tastes and textures in first year is crucial to raising a healthy, happy eater.”  

Teeny Tummies nutrition baby and child

Did you make everything from scratch, buy everything in the shops, or do some combination of the two?

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One Response to “Making your own homemade baby food”

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  1. Nurturing Mums Sassy Bloom personalised baby boxes - November 26, 2013

    […] for related articles: weaning; baby-led […]

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