This morning I came across a fantastic list ofÂ good suggestions for cooking for your baby.Â The Do’s & Dont’s of Cooking for Your Baby is extremely helpful & I even learned a bunch.Â From brightly colored nutrients to packaging, this list saves time & energy.Â Please take a look & pass it on.
â€¢ In general, baby meals start simply, with mild pureed fruits and vegetables such as peas or pears. Meals get more complex as your baby grows.
â€¢ Brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, usually pack more nutrients.
â€¢ Shorter cooking times preserve more nutrients. Many home baby food cooks prefer steaming to other cooking methods.
â€¢ Added sugar brings unnecessary calories and encourages a sweet tooth.
â€¢ While some studies suggest that organic produce carries more nutrients than conventional produce, there is little general agreement on this point.
â€¢ Keep all your cooking utensils and cutting surfaces especially clean if cooking for a baby because they’re more sensitive to bacteria.
â€¢ Refrigerate or freeze foods as quickly as you can after cooking and cooling to room temperature.
â€¢ Limit or avoid highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits for babies under a year old.
â€¢ For babies under 8 months old, stay away from cooking root and leafy vegetables, including beets and spinach, that can contain high levels of nitrates. Baby food companies screen produce for nitrates, which can cause a form of anemia.
â€¢ Follow your pediatrician’s recommendations on avoiding allergens, including egg whites and nuts.
â€¢ Organic ingredients usually carry fewer pesticides and other contaminants.
On Cooking & Storage:
â€¢ Most produce can be steamed or roasted with the skin on to preserve nutrients.
â€¢ After cooking, puree foods in a food processor or baby food grinder.
â€¢ Food that will be served within a day or two can be stored in the refrigerator.
â€¢ Many moms freeze homemade baby food in ice cube trays and then store the cubes in labeled freezer bags.
â€¢ Be aware that frozen baby food will probably take up more freezer space than you expect. Clear out some room ahead of time.
â€¢ Set aside an evening or weekend afternoon to prepare several dishes at once.
â€¢ As your baby grows, you can save time by feeding him or her what the rest of the family is eating. Foods can be cut into small chunks or pureed right before serving.
â€¢ Try making only a small amount of a new food to see how your baby responds before you make a huge batch that sits in your freezer uneaten.
â€¢ Taste your baby food before serving it. If that butternut squash seems a little bitter to you, there’s a good chance your baby will say “No way.”
â€¢ Remember that just because you like something doesn’t mean your baby will. When Ava makes a face over a homemade meal, I try to think of it as an early lesson in all the negotiations over food (“How about just one bite?”) in the years to come. If Ava pushes away a dish after a few bites, we just try again later. Or I end up using the rejected fruit and veggie purees in smoothies, yogurt, or soup for my husband and me.