Jan 172014
 

Happy New year, Super Baby Food fans! It is a whole new year and you have decided to try making your own baby food. Good for you and your family!  You will soon learn that it is much easier than you thought to make organic, homemade, tasty baby food.  Before you get started, though, here are a few safety measures to keep in mind and put into practice when making your own baby food.  For those of you who already do make your own baby food, consider this a mini-refresher course.  Please add your own additional safety ideas and tips in the comment section.

Baby Food Preparation Safety TIps

  • Wash your hands…So simple, I know, but always the first step!  Wash, wash, wash!
  • Wash your produce – both fruits and vegetables – even if it is organic…wash, wash, wash.  As you may already know some fruits and vegetables are ‘dirtier” than others…Check out EWG’s dirty dozen and clean 15 for a refresher.
  • Thoroughly clean all food preparation surface areas and utensils with hot, soapy water – the counter surfaces, the high chair tray surface and all of your utensils and operating equipment, including blenders, food processors, etc. (For more information on high chair safety click on the link.)
  • Beware of bacteria! Moisture and warmth can equal bacterial growth! Yuck! To get food cooled as quickly as possible, store it in small and/or shallow containers (you know from the 3rd edition of Super Baby Food that I prefer glass or stainless steel containers)
  • Do not leave prepared baby food at room temperature for more than a few minutes. Serve it right away or freeze it for later use.
  • Thaw all foods in the refrigerator and never refreeze food that has been cooked then frozen and then thawed.

Baby Food Precautions

  • Baby food can be spoiled without necessarily smelling bad. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Any leftover homemade or commercial baby food or juice that has come in contact with your baby’s saliva must be discarded.
  • Commercial baby food jars (I know you are only using commercial baby food in a pinch;)) must “pop” when opened to insure the content’s freshness!
  • If commercial infant/baby/toddler cereal has been mixed with liquid, serve it immediately and discard the leftovers.

For many more safety tips on baby food preparation safety and baby food safety, be sure to check out the new edition of  Super Baby Food, now available on Smashwords!  There are  three chapters in an entire section of the book dedicated to safety. It is very important! Please share your own safety tips developed along the way with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 262011
 

Moms Are Talking About…

Feeding Cottage Cheese to Your Baby

Cottage Cheese baby foodThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends dairy products (yogurt, natural cheeses, cottage cheese) made from whole milk because babies need fats.  As for all new foods, use the four-day wait rule.  Keep in mind that these fats are the saturated kind, which should be minimized in older children’s diets.  So when your baby becomes a toddler at age 1-2 years, you may want to switch to low-fat or non-fat dairy products, depending on which your professional baby care provider recommends and the age to switch.  I recommend buying only ORGANIC dairy products, which are from cows that are not treated with antibiotics or BVG (bovine growth hormone) and graze on grass with no pesticides.

Although it’s OK to give your child dairy products like yogurt and cheese made from cow’s milk, do not feed cow’s milk itself to your baby until s/he is one year old.  Until one year, give your baby breastmilk or formula and no cow’s milk, because cow’s milk protein is different from the protein in breastmilk/formula.  Be sure all dairy and cheeses you give to your baby are pasteurized and not made from raw milk.  Start your baby on dairy only if there are no milk allergies in the family–consult your pediatrician as to whether to introduce dairy to your baby.  In fact, if there are ANY allergies in the family (food allergies, asthma, pollen, etc.) , especially in the immediate family, discuss them thoroughly with your baby care povider.

By the way, if you haven’t given yogurt or kefir to your baby yet, you may wish to choose these dairy products over cottage cheese because they have the healthy bacteria so necessary for your baby’s digestive and immune systems.

For more information on dairy products and your baby, check Super Baby Food or right back her at the Super Baby Food Blog.

Mar 302011
 

You’ve checked out all the signs for readiness and your feeding area is welcoming and safe.  It’s time for your baby’s very first “solid” food meal!  Here are some tips to make sure that your baby’s very first meal is a success.

The best time to give your baby her very first meal is in the morning or early afternoon.

  • Give the first meal when your baby is not too hungry.  A too-hungry baby urgently wanting to eat may become frustrated during this new unfamiliar eating method.
  • Feed first meal after he has had a partial breast or bottle feeding. Give him half a feeding, then introduce his first solid food, and then finish the feeding.
  • The temperature of your baby’s food should be moderately warm.
  • The first meal will be very little food, no more than a teaspoon or two.
  • The consistency of the first solid food will not be solid, it will be much more liquid than solid.
  • When ready and comfortable, place a pea-sized amount of the liquidy food on the spoon, place the spoon lightly on your baby’s lower lip and slip it gently into his mouth, so that it is on the top of his tongue.  Let him suck the food off the lower spoon.  If he doesn’t suck, then tip the spoon so that the food pours slowly into his mouth.
  • Whatever happens, smile and say, “Mmmm!!!”
  • Watch for signs that you should end the meal, when the food is gone or when she turns her head away and closes her little mouth when she sees the spoon coming.

Check out his cute You Tube video of a baby’s first meal.  Watch how the Mom incorporates many of tips described above.

Mar 232011
 

In a previous post, we outlined the Super Baby Food Food Cube Freezing method.  Freezing food is an important step. Thawing the food is the next important step.  It’s important to thaw the food “safely.”  “Safely” here has two meanings.  First, baby food should be thawed in a way which prevents bacterial growth.  Baby food should never be thawed at room temperature, and baby food should not be kept at room temperature for more than several minutes.  Second, “safely” means thawing baby food so that it is not too hot or too cold to be a danger to your baby.  If it’s too hot, it may burn your baby’s mouth.  If it is too cold, and therefore not thawed thoroughly, it may contain frozen food chunks that are choking hazards to your baby.  Food that is too cold may also “burn” your baby’s sensitive mouth.  In thawing food, you simply want to take the chill out of baby’s food, you don’t want to make it hot.

Here are a few ways to safely thaw those frozen baby food cubes:

Thaw Food Cubes on the Stove Top:

Place frozen food cube in a pot and thaw over very low heat stirring often.  A double broiler can also be used.  This method takes a while so begin to warm the cubes 15 minutes to 1/2 hour before mealtime.

Thaw Food Cubes in the refrigerator:

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Be sure to stir insuring that no frozen chunks are left.  If you need to warm the food a bit, place container in a larger container with hot tap water.

Thaw Food Cubes In the Microwave:

Many experts recommend avoiding the microwave altogether because of the uneven heating that microwaves are notorious for.  It’s a fact that parents use the microwave regardless so, if you are going to use the microwave to thaw, be careful.  Place the frozen cubes in a little microwave-safe bowl.  With experience you will know exactly how long to thaw a frozen cube, probably between 30 seconds and a minute.  Once thawed almost all the way through, mash the remaining cube to even out the temperature.

Here are a few tips to make sure that baby’s food will be safe for baby to eat:

  • Stir, stir, stir baby food thoroughly to distribute heat
  • Always test the temperature of your baby’s food BEFORE feeding to your baby
  • Never re-freeze thawed baby food!

For additional information, check out Super Baby Food and check back with us here at the Super Baby Food blog.  Remember to subscribe to our feed to keep up with informative blog posts!

Mar 152011
 

Pureed, cooked vegetables are a large part of the Super Baby Food Diet.  To save time and energy, cook and puree large batches of veggies all at once and freeze them in ice cube trays using the Food Cube Method.

The Food Cube Method involves two steps:

1) Placing the food in ice cube trays and letting it freeze until solid, and

2) Transferring the frozen food cubes into plastic freezer bags.

Remember, the pureed food in the ice cube trays should be frozen as quickly as possible.

After the the food cubes are frozen solid (8-12 hours), transfer them to freezer bags (you must use Freezer bags, not storage bags) removing as much of the air in the bag as possible. Label and date each bag with a freeze date and a expire date.  It’s safe to say that frozen vegetables will keep up to two months.  A timesaver tip is to mix together several days worth of orange and green vegetable cubes and avocado cubes in the same freezer bag.  This trick makes it easier to find, pull out, and open ONE bag instead of three!

For more details on the Food Cube Freezing Method check out  Super Baby Food or check back to the blog for more informative blog posts!

Mar 102011
 

Feeding solid foods is such an important milestone in you and your baby’s life.  It is always important to remember safety first.  Below are some safety tips for feeding baby solids.

  • Make sure that wall mountings, electrical outlets, and objects on counter tops are out of baby’s reach from the feeding chair.
  • Your baby should not be able to grab something and use it for leverage to tip chair over.
  • Never leave your baby alone in a high chair.
  • Never allow older children to play in baby’s high chair or hang onto it.
  • Always use the full restraint system including the waist and middle straps when seating baby in the high chair- never use just the tray alone.
  • Remember to clean the chair and the restraint system on a regular basis.
  • Your baby should be seated in an upright position in the high chair or infant seat in order to prevent choking during eating
  • Remember to stop using the seat when your child has reached the recommended maximum height or weight.

For more safety tips while feeding solids check out the Super Baby Food App (available for free for a limited time), check out Super Baby Food or check back to the blog!

Mar 072011
 

You’ve decided that the time is right to start feeding solid foods to your baby. Congratulations!  The next step is to create an environment to encourage your little guy in his new adventure.  Here are some tips for creating a friendly solid food feeding zone:

  • Your baby’s feeding area should be a happy place to be. Use baby’s mealtime as quality time for bonding with your beautiful baby.
  • Make silly faces at your baby, smile, and talk to her during mealtime.
  • Allow your baby to participate as much as possible in the feeding process.
  • Praise the good ignore the bad.  Try making a game of eating to prevent food on the floor.

During your baby’s first meal, he should develop a sense of trust and relaxed mealtimes are part of the process.  Your baby will actually grow and develop better if he is feed in a loving environment. For more information on creating a safe and friendly “solid food” feeding zone, check out the Super Baby Food app or subscribe to the blog for additional blog posts on the subject!

Feb 142011
 

To grind whole grains into a powder for Super Porridge, you will find that most food processors just don’t “cut it” (pun intended).  A blender works much better, but still does leave large pieces in the grind.  There’s no need to worry about your baby eating these lumps, as they’ll just pass through her system.  The Tribest blender is a real work horse for grinding whole grains, flax seeds, and nuts.  I like the Tribest because you can wash its part in the dishwasher.  It’s important to clean out any grinder after you have ground grains, nuts, or seeds because their oils (wheat germ oil, almond oil, pumpkin seed oil, flax seed oil) start to become rancid when they are exposed to the air.

Many moms and dads find that a coffee grinder works well for grains. You can also use if for grinding pumpkin seeds and nuts, as long as the owner’s manual says that this will not ruin the grinder.  Of course, you can also use it to grind coffee!!  Again, be sure to wash out all the leftover oils.

Here’s another idea for making Super Porridge smoother:

For the rare parents who are into grinding their own fresh flour using a grain grinder, such as the Wondermill or Nutrimill, you’ve got it made in terms of a super smooth Super Porridge.  Grind your grains into flour and then cook the fllour by adding 1 part flour to 4-5 parts boiling water.  Turn heat to low and cook for 5-10 minutes.)

Check back for more Super Baby Porridge tips….

Jan 142011
 

Moms Are Talking About… Blenders

Do you have a favorite blender that you can recommend to your fans to make baby food preparation a snap?

I am still using the Oster blender that I purchased 32 years ago.  I think it’s going to last forever!
Of course, if you are rich, the top of the line blender is the Vitamix, and that’s the one I would recommend if money were no object. Otherwise, the regular brand names are fine for the most part for pureeing veggies and fruits and making smoothies.  For Super Porridge or grinding flax seeds and other seeds and nuts, I recommend the Tribest blender.  It’s a workhorse, and again, you can expect it to work for a long, long time.  I like that you can put all parts that touch the food in the dishwasher.  For grinding flax seeds, nuts, and grains, you can also use a coffee grinder, but you must clean it out very well after each use because the oils in the seeds and nuts get rancid quickly; this tends to be difficult with some coffee grinders.  You can also use the Tribest to make smoothies and it comes with different parts, depending on the model you buy.    I’ve heard that the Magic Bullet can be run continuously for only 30 seconds.  In my opinion, it’s no Tribest.  Before I buy a small kitchen appliance, I always read reviews at Amazon.com and on QVC.com and HSN.com.  They are from real people with experience on the products. What has been your experience with blenders?  Do you have any “blender tips” to share?