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6 How to Make Baby Food at Home

How to make baby food at home

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How to make baby food - MOMables.comAre you curious about making your own baby food but don’t know where to begin?

Consider this post a baby food making 101 class -the short version for busy parents.

Here at MOMables, we help parents make fresh school lunches; but we also know that many of you have younger children and are looking for ways to make all of your family’s food healthier. Even your baby food.

So your baby is showing all the signs of wanting to eat, and you are excited to get started with baby food making but have NO IDEA how to go about it.

First you need to know what are the “right” foods for your baby’s age and not introduce too many foods at once.

It’s so important to follow a guide and follow the 4-5 day rule so that you know that your baby is ready for those foods.

What happens when you serve your baby foods that he is not ready to eat? The short answer: it can be hard on their digestive system and could be a source of food allergies later on.

How do you know if your baby is ready for solid foods?
More than likely, your pediatrician has already suggested introduction of baby cereal or solid foods. If not, some of the signs are:

  • The baby is able to sit up with support, reaches and grabs things and tries to put them in her mouth.
  • Try to reach the food that it’s on your plate
  • Mimics eating with their mouth when you eat

 Basic First Foods:
*Note, there is no significant difference wether you introduce fruits or cereals first.

  • Mashed bananas
  • Peaches
  • Barley and rice cereal
  • Carrots
  • Pears
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Apples
  • Peas

Food Making Supplies
In recent years, there have been some all-in-one food steamers and blenders that make baby food making a snap. Know, that for hundreds of years people have used traditional methods and things typically found in your kitchen to make baby food. Therefore, you don’t really need any special equipment to make your own food. 

You have done your research, got all the materials and foods you need so you are ready to get started. The main thing you need to remember is to make your food smooth and thin for those beginner babies and as they get older you can make it a bit thicker and with more texture. To make your food smooth and thin you need to add a little bit of water at a time.

Fruit Purees

***NOTE – If you choose to start feeding your baby before the age of 6mos old you will need to steam all fruits. Steaming or light cooking these foods makes it easier to digest. After the age of 6 months you do not need to good fruits unless it’s a harder fruit such as apples. Also depending on the fruit and how much natural liquid the fruit has in it you may not need to add water. For instance pears have a TON of natural juices so you may not need to add any water.

Directions

  1. In a pot fill it about 1/3 of the way up and place a steamer inside of the pot.
  2. Add the fruit and bring to a gentle boil
  3. Once it starts to boil, turn down to low and let simmer until fork tender
  4. Remove from heat and place in a glass bowl
  5. Once cool then with your immersion blender blend until you get the consistently that is right for your baby. Again, you may need to add water to make it smooth enough.

Vegetable Purees

The only other material that you would need when doing vegetables is a baby pan.  When steaming you would do the same type of thing as you did for the fruit. When blending this is when you will add water. I suggest using the steam water for extra nutrients and then add additional water if necessary. Remember to always add water a teaspoon at a time so you can control the consistency.

I like to roast many of my vegetables such as sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash or any type of winter squash. Check out these easy vegetable roasting instructions. Once your fruits and vegetables are made into puree’s then you can spoon that mixture into a BPA FREE ice cube trays and place into the freezer up to 24 hrs. Place on the counter and let defrost just enough until you can easily take them out. Once all the cubes are out place them into a labeled freezer baggie and put back into the freezer.

Your homemade baby food can last in the freezer for up to 6 months. When serving remember that each ice cube is 1 ounce. Follow the guides as to how much your baby should be eating at their age.

 

–Trina O’Boyle, founder of the O’Boy! Organic offers parent cooking classes, baby food personal chef services and kids cooking parties in the Philadelphia area. Trina has been passionate about healthy foods and eco-friendly living for over 20 years. Trina strives to be a role model for her two boys by cooking fresh foods and working on their back yard garden together. She is also the Social Media Editor for Happy Family Brands. You can follow Trina at O’Boy! Organic and on Facebook and Twitter.
6

Three Tips on How to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier

Ever struggle just getting your kids to pick up their clothes, let alone eat healthier?

Guest Post by Jenny Solar from The Happy Family Movement.

We started making the transition toward healthier eating sometime during the middle of last year. My husband, Josh, and I had just finished reading The Unhealthy Truth, and we knew that we had to make some serious changes.

At the time, our kids diets were full of artificial colors, high-fructose corn syrup, BHT, and crazy amounts of pesticides and hormones found in our milk, produce, and meat. We started on a long and slow journey toward changing our diet as a family. We’ve had some successes and some failures; so today, I’m going to share with you a few things we learned along the way!

Tip #1: Include your kids in the plan. I know it sounds obvious, but it will be a lot easier to change the things you’re eating if your kids are on board. We started having regular conversations with our three little kids about eating healthier. We explained to them exactly why artificial colors are bad. We told them why we didn’t want them eating high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). And then we taught them to read nutrition labels and ingredients lists. And we (successfully) enrolled them in the cause! Another reason to use the MOMables menus and let them pick their fruits and veggies.

Tip #2: Slow and steady wins the race. I was terrified that our kids would freak out about any changes we made to their food. Our kids are really picky, even to the extent of being brand-specific. So we started out slowly. The first thing I changed was the peanut butter. I started buying all-natural instead of the regular kind, which is loaded with HFCS. Then we switched to 100% organic fruit jelly and mostly organic produce and meats, and so on. We made these changes over 6 months; so both my family and our wallet got used to the changes one substitution at a time.

Tip #3: Don’t go crazy. One of the things Josh and I have said from the beginning is that we don’t want to take things to the extreme. Our kids still eat ice cream and cookies. If they’re at a birthday party with Cheetos and blue-iced cake, that’s fine. We recognize that the rules don’t have to apply 100% of the time—it’s more like an 80/20 thing; life should be lived in moderation. When we took the kids to see The Lorax recently, we bought M&M’s, GummieSavers, and Skittles. Then again, we go to the movies about twice a year.

What other things helped your family make the transition to healthier eating?

 

Josh and Jenny Solar are parents to three kids, Max, Ava, and Lia (and a basset hound named Banana). In addition to being full-time photographers, they created The Happy Family Movement in the spring of 2011 to encourage and inspire family togetherness through memorable family experiences and simple ideas for happy family living. The overarching goal of The Happy Family Movement is to rewrite the way our generation views raising kids—to seek out a happy family and find the JOY in parenting all over again.

3 How to save money when shopping organic

How to Save Money When Shopping Organic

What? Save money shopping organic? Who knew it was possible!

how to save money when shopping organicMaking the decision to eat organic foods can put a real strain on your family’s budget. The costly price of eating healthy has found many families in a predicament. Which foods should you buy organic? Where will you get the best bang for your buck?

Here are a few tips to help you keep your budget in check while choosing the right foods for your family.

1. Local farmers’ market. This is a must! You can get fresh organic eggs, fruits, veggies, milk, and sometimes meat, while at the same time, supporting your local farmers. The price tends to be less than the grocery store down the street. If you have to shop for eggs in the grocery store, then buy organic. I haven’t been sold on the “cage-free,” free-range,” or “all-natural” yet. I’m not confident that those terms are closely regulated. Therefore, if you are buying anything else than conventional, get organic.

2. Peel = save your money. Don’t spend the extra money on foods that have a skin that you’ll peel and toss. Foods such as avocados, grapefruit, oranges, or bananas are probably not the ones to break the budget by buying organic. Now apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, or blueberries are the ones that you’ll definitely want to buy certified organic.

3. White and refined = save your money. Instead of spending the extra money on organic white bread or rice, just purchase the regular brown rice or whole-grain breads. Splurge on organic fruits and meats rather than grains.

4. Save by buying store-brand organic. A lot of chain grocers are stocking the shelves with their own label of organics. Many of these big-box stores are partnering with local farmers who are pledging not to use growth hormones, pesticides, or antibiotics. The store-brand will typically cost less.

5. Organic chicken will cost less than organic red meat. When you plan your weekly meals, use more chicken than red meat. It’s not only healthier, but cheaper. Alternative options are hormone-free and grass-fed. However, don’t let the “all-natural” labels fool you. To help stretch your budget even further, buy the whole chicken. Roast the chicken, and use the meat for two or more meals, plus use the carcass to make stock.

6. Skip bagged lettuce and vegetables. You’ll pay more for having your lettuce washed and packaged ready to eat. For the same price or less, you can grab a whole head of organic lettuce, and you’ll get more for your money. If you have kids, they can help wash the greens and help you prepare your meal.

It’s not difficult to make healthier choices on wholesome food if you are willing to do a little bit of preparation. Remember that you are going to pay more for packaging and convenience; and oftentimes, organic is not more expensive than the items you are already purchasing. If you want to stretch your money further, try a meatless day and/or a breakfast for dinner once a week.


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