Check out this vid on YouTube!
Making your baby their very first meal can be exciting and daunting at the same time. There are so many questions and so many different conflicting answers that it can be hard to know where to start. Hopefully I will be able to share with you some of my experiences as well as some simple first foods for your little one to try.
There are three ways to cook baby food that I am aware of, a saucepan on the stove, a microwave steamer or a baby food machine. I personally use all three, depending on what I am making, how much food I want to prepare and how much time I have. The easiest is obviously the baby food machine, as all you need to do is peel and chop up the food, place it in the container, select what it is you are cooking, press “steam and purée” then “start” and you are done! The only downside to this is it doesn’t make much food at one time, and it has a lot of parts that need cleaning.
The other two methods are as easy as each other, peel and chop your veggies, place them in the saucepan or microwave steamer, add some water and cook until soft, drain liquid before using a stick mixer or blender to purée. You can retain the drained liquid or use boiled water to add back to the purée to get the desired consistency that is right for your baby.
What ever method you choose you will find it very easy to have success! Watch my Youtube video for easy instructions for each method: How to Make Baby Food!
Let’s talk about good veggies and fruits to start with. Sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, apple and pear are all low allergenic options to start your little one on. The best way to do this is to start with a single fruit or veg and feed it to your baby in the morning. This way you will have the remainder of the day to watch for any allergic reactions. Stick to the same food for a few days before trying another and continue this pattern until your baby has tried several different fruits and veg. Once you have done this you can start combining different fruit and veg to give your little one some variety and can also add in one at a time other fruit and veg like broccoli, cauliflower, avacado, banana, spinach or zucchini.
Consistency is also important as young babies are just learning to eat and will often use their tongues to push the food around their mouths before either swallowing or spitting it out. If they do spit it out, don’t worry about it, just scoop it up and put it back in their mouth. At this stage funny faces and pushing the food out of their mouth isn’t a sign they don’t like it, it’s just part of learning something new and exploring food using their mouth. At first you don’t want the purée to be to thick, as they may gag and find it difficult swallow. You want it to be quite thin and runny, enabling them to swallow it easily. If they do gag, stay calm and watch, this is a reflex that will help protect them from choking and they should bring the food up themselves. If they are doing this often perhaps thin the food down some more with boiled water and try again, or offer smaller mouthfuls.
Some of my sons favourite combinations and some we are yet to try are as follows:
- Sweet potato, pumpkin and apple
- Carrot, sweet potato and cauliflower
- Pear and apple
- Pumpkin, sweet potato and baby spinach
- Zucchini and sweet potato
- Pumpkin and apple
- Carrot and apple
- Sweet potato and cauliflower
- Pumpkin and zucchini
- Pumpkin, spinach and pear
- Pear and banana
- Avocado and banana
- Sweet potato and avocado
As you can see the possibilities are endless just using a few different fruits and veg.
Step 1: Choose which fruit and veg you would like your baby to have. Wash, peel and roughly chop into small cubes.
Step 2: Place into your desired cooking method. For the saucepan and microwave steamer add 1 cup of water. Boil the saucepan on the stove top for roughly 10 minutes or until a fork goes into the food easily. For the microwave steamer cook in the microwave for roughly 10 minutes or until a fork goes into the food easily. Drain.
Step 3: Using a stick mixer or blender, purée the food until smooth, adding some boiled water to reach the desired thin consistency.
Now you have made all this wonderful baby food, you will need something to store it in. I use a variety of small containers and will refrigerate for 2 days or will stick masking tape on the outside and write what’s in the container before freezing. This way you know what is in each one and can retrieve it quickly without having to guess what is inside.
Here are a few links to get you started, however you can simply google baby food ideas fora 4 to 6 month old and the search hits are endless!
- A link to Heinz Baby Food for recipies and ideas http://www.heinzforbaby.com.au/4-months
- A link to The Australian Breast Feeding Association https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/solids.html
- A link to ” Baby’s first foods” produced by Child and Adolescent Health Service (WA Government Dept of Health) https://www.health.wa.gov.au/docreg/Education/Population/Child_Health/Feeding/HP003055_babys_first_foods.pdf