You don’t have to be Australia’s best chef to make baby food at home. In fact, it is quite simple and the advantages are endless. By being homemade, bub will be eating foods free from preservatives and harmful chemicals. It also sets up your children with a love for healthy eating right from the start, making them appreciate fresh, wholesome food.
TOOLS AND APPLIANCES
The tools needed to make baby food are staples already lying around the kitchen. Not many are needed – minimal equipment will still make delicious food.
Blender or food processor
Options like the Chicco 4-1 baby blender or Cherub Baby steamer blender are good options if looking to purchase. Otherwise, any blender that makes smoothies or purees food will work. If the blender is older, add an extra dash of liquid to make food a smooth consistency.
Ice cube trays
If the ice-cubes are calling these home already, check the local op shop to stock up on trays for an inexpensive price.
Steamer basket or insert
This is needed to steam the food for purees. Steamer inserts can fit more produce but both will get the job done.
Other tools include:
- Baking sheet
- Freezer bags
- Storage containers
Main cooking techniques include steaming, roasting, baking or microwaving until food becomes tender. To preserve the nutrients from fruit and vegetables, opt for steaming not boiling and if ripe, they don’t need to be cooked at all.
Once cooled, transfer to a food processor of choice and blend for one to two minutes. Slowly add water, breastmilk or formula to reach a desired consistency – which ultimately should glide off the spoon.
Enhance taste and your baby’s palette by adding herbs and spices like sea salt, ginger, cinnamon and rosemary.
Food will need to be kept in airtight containers, freezer bags or ice cube trays. Before transferring to the fridge or freezer, allow food to cool. Ice cube storage allows flavour combinations to be created as the small dosages of food can be mixed and matched.
The storage timeline for baby food is up to four days in the fridge, two months in the freezer for purees with meat and beans and up to three months in the freezer for fruit purees.
Labelling containers with the date and what is inside will allow for no confusion when choosing baby’s next meal.
Recipes from Babyfoode.com
Age: 4 months +
- 6 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
- ½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ tsp cloves
- Put the apples, coconut milk and cloves in a medium saucepan and cover. Heat over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until apples can be cut in half with a spoon. Let cool slightly.
- Transfer all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth.
Age: 4 months +
- 2 cups broccoli – chopped into small florets
- 1 small potato or apple – peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to boil over medium heat.
- Place broccoli and potato (or apple) into a steamer basket and place over boiling water. Cover and steam for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly.
- Add the broccoli, potato (or apple) and olive oil into a blender and puree until smooth, adding water from the steamer in ¼ increments if needed.
Age: 4 months +
- 1 bag frozen mango
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or a pinch of fresh vanilla bean seeds
- Put frozen mango and vanilla extract/bean into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Stir often until heated all the way through and tender roughly 3-4 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Transfer into a blender. If mango mixture gets an excess of liquid while cooking, strain mangos and reserve liquid into a bowl.
- Blend on high for 1 minute or until the puree is smooth.