Making Safe and Healthy Baby Food for Your Infant
The amount of money that American families spend on store bought baby food has decreased by almost half since 2009, suggesting that parents are relying more heavily on homemade baby foods. This is unsurprising, considering the current backlash against processed foods and being able to control every ingredient your infant ingests is bound to put a parent’s mind at ease. Infants can begin consuming many nutritious vegetables and fruits between four and six months, so get out your juicer and start making some safe and nutritious baby food.
By the time babies are ready to begin trying solid foods, their immune systems still leave much to be desired. Therefore, cleanliness is a highly important consideration when it comes to making and storing your own baby food. Although germs and bacteria constantly surround us, and some exposure can be good for strengthening the immune system, it is best to avoid any possible means of contamination when it comes to feeding your baby.
Maintaining cleanliness while making baby food starts with common sense, by making sure that all surfaces and tools have been adequately sterilized with warm soapy water, and that you have thoroughly washed your hands. Bacteria can develop very quickly, so baby food should be fed to your child as soon as it is cool enough to eat, and leftovers should be immediately refrigerated or frozen in shallow dishes to speed up the cooling process.
Providing your baby with a wide variety of safe foods from a young age has many benefits that start with nutrition, but certainly don’t end there. Research by Carina Venter, PHD has found that allowing your child to try lots of different types of foods will broaden their horizons and lead to much healthier eating habits as they continue to grow. As well as a variety in flavors, multiple textures should be introduced from a young age for many of the same reasons. Although baby food should be pureed smooth at first, more and larger lumps and soft finger foods can be allowed after several months to allow the exploration of textures and eating experiences. Newer research also suggests that introducing children to common allergen foods such as peanuts may actually decrease the risk of developing allergies as children get older.
Introducing solid foods is an exciting time in your baby’s growth, and there are many good reasons to make baby food at home. Saving money and avoiding disposable containers, and quality control are high on the list.