When you have just a few kitchen tools, such as a steamer and a blender, the sky is the limit when it comes to making your own baby food. Armed with just a few simple kitchen utensils you can produce a medley of tasty, nutritious and cost effective baby food. Heck, even with a fork you can make a delicious concoction for your tiny tot. Why should you bother? Below is a list of points to consider that would make you a believer.
1. You control the ingredients
Yes, you are in control. When you know exactly what went into your baby’s food, it can give you that peace of mind about what your baby eats. As long as you plan out your menu and make sure your baby gets adequate nutrients and calories, you can let your imagination run wild. Just remember to consult your physician and baby food guides to make sure you are on the right track.
When you use fresh ingredients, you end up with food that is higher in enzymes and vitamins. This means that your baby is going to have better digestion and that little tummy is going to thank you! A jar of yams and carrots just doesn’t taste or smell the same way home made does, as it has been processed to sit on that shelf. Have you ever speculated why some baby food has an expiration date of a year or more? When it comes to homemade, fresh is best!
3. Taste and smell
Doesn’t your baby deserve a great tasting meal? Some of the commercially available baby food just doesn’t taste or smell that great. Do your baby a favor, and try some tasty options. Those peas and carrots can be blended with organic milk, and those peaches can be creamed with a bit of yogurt and a dash of cinnamon. Variety is also good to make sure your baby develops those tiny taste buds. Try a taste test, and smell your home made food, to make sure it has the right consistency and texture.
4. Faster and easier
Well, you may think that driving to the store, packing your shopping cart and standing for hours in that endless checkout line may be the smarter and faster option. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated, and you can whip up something for your baby in minutes. It does require some shopping ahead, and careful menu planning; however with practice you will find this to be a fast and easy way to feed your little one.
5. No added chemicals of preservatives
Homemade is pure, wholesome nutrition which contains only what you have added. Some store bought food contains additives and fillers that aren’t needed for a baby’s nutrition. These chemicals could range from added sugar and salt to preservatives, as well as taste and color enhancers. Some of the nutrients and vitamins are also lost in the commercial process and are often added artificially at the end of the process. When you cook your own food at home from fresh ingredients you can maximize nutrition as well as great taste and color.
6. Minimize nitrate and pesticide exposure
Going with organic, home grown or local, pesticide free produce means your baby has the needed building blocks to grow into a healthy adult. To make sure you minimize your baby’s nitrate exposure you can test your water, and try using fresh vegetables as soon as you get them into your kitchen (as nitrate concentration increases over time). Using frozen vegetables is another option. If you do buy commercial, baby food companies do test their product and most store bought brands should have a safe level of these chemicals. Finally, read labels as organic vegetables tend to have less nitrates and pesticides.
Using fresh ingredients, makes sure that what you make is nutritious. You can also add in some extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil or coconut oil for that extra boost. There are many options to make sure you maximize the nutrient content of your food so that your baby gets everything she needs. If you start out with fresh nutritious food, your tot would be more open to try a variety of fresh foods when she grows up.
8. Organic and natural
Babies consume more vegetables and fruit than adults, and thus end up taking in more pesticides per pound of weight than adults. Organic foods tend to have less chemicals and pesticides, and you can select from organic chicken, milk and eggs, to fruits and vegetables. According to US standards, organic foods are not genetically modified (GMO), which some may argue is another benefit of going organic. One of my favorite recipes is to steam several organic fruits and vegies, and put them through a blender with organic goat milk.
9. Environmentally friendly
You can make food from locally grown produce, thus supporting your community and the local farmer. Another benefit is that making your own baby food requires no extra packaging to dispose of. Just think about it, no need to purchase food in jars, cans and plastic containers. Not only do you save the environment, you are able to reuse and recycle right in your own kitchen.
10. Cost effective
One of the most important issues is cost. Making your own baby food can give you a great bang for your buck. Should a tiny jar of peas cost you a dollar or more? Have you wondered how many peas and carrots you can make at home when you use similar ingredients in your fridge and freezer for the same amount of money? You can even make a bit extra and freeze for when you are in a crunch.
By Alina R.