Babies certainly can’t live on milk alone. Even though it’s essential to feed your little one with milk for the first few months of life, you also need think about solid foodstuff once the baby shows certain indications of readiness.
Cooking for your baby is pretty much like cooking for grown-ups. The only difference is that preparing baby food calls for extra attention and care in the preparation and handling of ingredients.
As a rule, you need to wash your hands with soap and lukewarm water prior to preparing your baby’s meal. Be sure to dry them up using a clean towel before touching any of the ingredients. Similarly, you also have to thoroughly wash your cooking utensils beforehand.
Preparing The Ingredients
Fruits/Veggies - Wash, peel and cut up fruits and vegetables prior to cooking. In addition, remove the stones and seeds if you see any.
Fish - Take out the bones, fat and other tough parts before cooking. Once the fish is done, take it to bits and do away with any left over traces of skin and bones.
Meat - Cut all the fat away before cooking. Once the meat is done, slice it into tiny portions. Don’t forget to get rid of any bone and other tough bits.
Cooking Baby Food
Fruits/Veggies - Except for bananas and avocados, all types of fruits and veggies should be cooked before feeding them to your little one. You have the option to microwave, boil or steam them. Some varieties of fruit (e.g. pear or apple) can even be oven-cooked. Nonetheless, steam cooking remains to be the most excellent choice since it preserves a greater amount of nutrients.
In case you don’t own a steam-cooker, don’t be bothered about it. Microwave cooking and boiling are fine alternatives so long as you keep the water to a bare minimum and make an effort not to overcook or undercook the food.
As for carrots, turnip, spinach and beet, you must boil them at all times rather than using the microwave or steam-cooker. These vegetables normally contain potentially detrimental nitrates that are largely removed in the course of boiling.
Meat and Fish - You may cook them any way you like. Just see to it that they are well done and that you take out all the fat and tough bits prior to serving. If you wish to roast or to fry meat or fish, aim to avoid putting in fat or at least keep it to a minimum. Also, bear in mind that it’s not necessary to add any sugar, fat or salt to your baby’s food.
Make use of a mashing fork-or a food blender, if you have one-to mix up the food to its appropriate texture. If your baby is still in the early stages of taking solids, then the food must be totally liquefied. As his/her tolerance to solid food increases, you can slowly transition to slightly thicker and chunkier servings. Needless to say, you need to give your little one some time to adjust at each stage of the progression.
In case you have cooking water in handy, you may put in some in order to smoothen or moisten it up the food. Keep in mind that your baby’s mouth is more receptive to heat than yours. Therefore, the baby food should be warm and not hot.
To sum it all up, the two most vital tips to remember when cooking for your little one are: (1) do no prepare foods that are not suitable for his or her age, and (2) see to it that he/she is able to tolerate the consistency of the food. Everything else is simply plain cooking. All you need to do now is to get hold of My First Baby Food recipes so that you can start practicing for your most precious one.