Is your baby ready to start solids?
- She is able to indicate in some way that she's ready to be fed, such as opening her mouth when you touch a spoon to her lips.
- He is able to eat sitting up and has the oral motor skills to move the food from the front of his mouth to the back and swallow.
- She is able to signal when she's had enough, such as turning her head, showing displeasure, or using a hand to push the spoon away.
- He shows a distinct interest in your food, grabbing at items on your plate or utensils.
- Regular kitchen blender (or)
- Food processor (or)
- Hand blender
- Storage containers/ice cube trays for refrigerating or freezing extra portions.
Choose the freshest fruits and vegetables, and try to use what you buy in a day or two. Fresh is the best option but you can also use frozen. You can use: apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes, asparagus tips, avocados, carrots, peas, potatoes, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Remember to not feed babies who are less than 6 months of age home-prepared beets, carrots, collard greens, spinach, or turnips. They are high in nitrates and can cause a type of anemia in young babies.
How to prepare baby food:
(Great tips from Baby Center)
First, wash your hands, the produce, and all the bowls and utensils. Peel and pit the fruit if necessary.
All vegetables — and fruits like apples and prunes that need to be softened — should be cooked before pureeing or grinding. To preserve vitamins and minerals, bake, boil, or steam the produce until soft. If you boil the food, use as little liquid as possible and add some of the leftover liquid when mashing the food (or add it to your family's soup stock).
To prepare fruits or vegetables, simply add a little liquid (breast milk, formula, or cooking water) to the produce as you puree or grind until the consistency is soupy. As your baby adapts to solid foods, you can add less liquid. If the fruit has seeds, strain before serving.
Grains like rice or millet can also be pureed or ground in a food mill. Cook them first according to package directions.
To prepare meat and poultry, remove the skin and trim the fat before cooking. Then puree the cooked meat in a blender or grind it up in a food mill with a little liquid. For older babies, you can simply chop the meat into very small pieces.
How to store your baby food:
Fill up ice cube trays with the pureed food, freeze them solid, then store in ziplock bags, and label. Keep baby food in freezer for no longer than 3 months for fruit, vegetable and meat puree. Do not refreeze baby food that has already been frozen. There are also a number of products for baby food storage such as: BabySteps freezer tray, Baby Cubes, or Fresh Baby food trays. Although using such products can help out, using regular ice cube trays will also work just fine & save you $.