Tools for making your own baby food

Hudson Valley Parent brings you your very own checklist

What you need to chef it up for your baby:

  • A food processor, blender, or food mill
  • A steamer (any old pot with some water will do)
  • An ice cube tray for freezing individual portions for future use
  • Fresh, organic produce

What you don’t need:

  • An expensive steamer/masher machine (though it will certainly streamline the process)
  • Salt or sugar
  • Lots of time, money, or culinary expertise

Don't forget these 5 essential feeding tips:

Before you embark on the Great Solid Food Adventure it’s important to remember a few things:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends exclusively breast or formula feeding for a minimum of six months (and continuing to nurse or formula feed after the introduction of solids until at least a year). Some pediatricians will encourage starting solids as early as four months, though Amy Spoto, MD, of Crystal Run Healthcare, says the decision to start should be based more on developmental signs of readiness than age.
  • According to famed pediatrician William Sears: “Your initial goal is to introduce your baby to the new tastes and textures of solid foods, not to stuff them.”
  • Go slow, waiting three to four days before introducing a new food so you can watch for adverse reactions (which may manifest as a red ring around the anus, diarrhea or constipation, eczema, facial swelling, hives, etc.).
  • It is not necessary that rice cereal be your baby’s first food. Many pediatricians recommend starting with vegetables first, then fruit, to avoid encouraging a sweet tooth; Spoto says there is no hard and fast rule.
  • The AAP recently changed its stance on common allergens like peanut butter and egg yolks; it is no longer recommended you wait a full year before introducing these foods, unless you have an allergy in the family. In fact, Spoto confirms that holding off on introducing such foods may increase the likelihood of an allergy developing.

 Now that you have the tools, start making your own baby food!