There is really no great mystery to making your baby’s food, it is simple and easy and requires very little equipment. Once your produce is washed and ready to go your first step is preparing the food for cooking. For babies 6 to 9 months of age I suggest peeling all fruits and vegetables to remove the skin, this will make for smoother purees for food introduction. Once peeled chop into cubes and add to the steaming basket of a steaming pot and steam for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. Alternatively you can use a rice cooker and steam until tender. Remove from heat, let cool and then puree to desired consistency using steaming water, breast milk, formula or water to thin as necessary. And that is it, easy peasy!!!
I often get asked about cooking methods. Steaming is preferred as it preserves the most nutrients, but you can also bake/roast fruits and vegetables to really bring out the flavour. I suggest avoiding boiling and microwaving. The high heat of boiling can destroy nutrients and microwaving has been shown to destroy nutrients as well as antioxidants.
For babes 6 to 9 months of age the purees should be very smooth, and to begin with very liquid; it should easily fall off the spoon. As your baby gets use to food you can begin to thicken the purees getting him ready for more texture. Around 9 months or maybe before, remember every baby is different, trust your mom intuition, you can begin to leave the purees a little lumpier, and even leave some of the skin on fruits to add more texture to the purees. Your baby may not like it at first, but give it some time, remember it can take up to twelve times of introducing a food before a baby or child accepts it. Be patient.
And for those times when you need a quick meal there are a few foods that can easily be prepared – ripe banana, avocado, papaya and melon can all be fork mashed and fed to your baby; making them great on the go foods!
So give it try, tickle those tiny taste buds with real food, food with flavour, food with nutrients necessary for growth, development, health and wellness – your baby will love it!
Next month I will share a few of my little man’s favourite recipes with you.