Oct 042011
 

When parents consider making their own baby food the first concern is invariably:  Is it safe to make my own baby food? Or said another way…Is commercial baby food better for my baby?  Let Super Baby Food dispel the myths.

Myth #1: Commercial baby food is superior to homemade baby food.

The food that you make at home from fresh, whole vegetables and fruits is nutritionally superior to any jarred commercial variety on your grocer’s shelf.  The cereals you can quickly and easily make at home from brown rice (and other whole grains) cannot be compared to the processed, refined white rice commercial baby cereals.

Myth #2: It takes too much time to make homemade baby food.

Making homemade baby food is easier than you think.   Check out WholeParenting.com’s pictures showing how simple it can be to make your own nutritionally superior baby food.

Myth #3: Homemade baby food may cause my baby to get sick or get food poisoning.

Some parents think that there is something magical that goes into the preparation of commercial baby food that can not be done at home, which somehow makes it the only food suitable and safe for their baby. Not so, baby food can be made easily, nutritionally, and safely at home.

Myth #4: The convenience of commerical baby food is worth the price.

Actually, making your own baby food is the cheaper alternative.  Check out this handy dandy chart prepared by WholesomeBabyFood.com to see the price per baby food manufacturer as compared to homemade baby food from your ice cube tray.  Homemade baby food is much cheaper!

Can you think of any other myths surrounding commercial baby food vs baby food made at home?  Share them with us so we can dispel more myths!

Aug 162011
 

Pureeing is all the rage and thank goodness.  With just a few tips under your belt, you can prepare your baby’s own food using organic, delicious vegetables and here’s the best part – you will know exactly what is in the food you give your baby!

Puree Basics

I will use the term “processor” to refer to your blender, your processor, your food mill, or whatever you’re using to puree.  To get the correct liquidy consistency necessary for beginner eaters, water must be added to the food mixture being processed.

Cook the vegetables

For most vegetables, use the water in which they were cooked, whether the water is from steaming, baking, or boiling.  This water containes valuable nutrients that have leached out of the vegetables during cooking.

Save the water

Pour the water from the cooking pot into a container with a spout so that it will be easy to pour into the processer.  I use a little glass measuring cup with a spout.

Puree Away!

Place chucks of cooked vegetables into the bowl of the processor so that it is almost full.  Make sure you leave some head room.  Add a tablespoon or two of the cooking water.  Cover, keep your hand on the lid, and start the processor.  Pour water very slowly throuugh the hole in the top of the processer until the food moves freely.  Use the least amount of water necessary to get the consistency you need for your baby’s age.  Use the Food Cube Freezing Method to store pureed baby food!  That’s it, you’ve done it!

For more tips on starting your baby on solids, try the Super Baby Food, iPhone App!

Aug 052011
 

A Mom Asks:

I am just beginning to feed my second child solid foods using your Super Baby Food book as a guide. Our CSA share this week included “vitamin greens” and I am wondering if they can be prepared as other greens and fed to my son when he is old enough for cooked greens. I also wonder about “bok choy”.  Thank you for your help, and for writing such an excellent resource for parents.

Ruth Says:

Vitamin greens (I don’t why they call them that since all green leafy vegetables are loaded with vitamins) and bok choy should be introduced to your baby just as any other veggies.  Use the 4-day wait rule.

Cook as you would kale.  Thanks for writing!

May 122011
 

A mom had a question on the Super Baby Food Facebook Page about feeding a baby radishes!

Are radishes OK to feed a baby?

Here is what Ruth had to say:

Radishes technically are OK to give to a 9 month old, but I would suggest giving very little and very well diced – use a garlic press and knife to get it into the smallest pieces.  Radishes might cause stomach upset and may be difficult for your baby’s immature system to digest.  Try just a little tiny pea-sized bit and wait a day or so to see if your baby has any reaction.

Use only organic radishes and herbs and spices.

You can add herbs and spices anytime after 6 months, but I would first start with spices that are not hot.  Try a little cinnamon, or ginger first, then move on to turmeric (a SUPER spice loaded with good stuff), cumin, and others.  Stay away from the hot ones, such as cayenne pepper and garlic, for a while.  Introduce in very small quantities and, as always for new foods, use the 4-day wait rule.  Spices are loaded with antioxidants and are super foods, however, do NOT use imported spices, as they may have heavy metals (lead, mercury) in them.

I like the Frontier brand.  All their spices are organic and you can find them at the natural foods store or large grocery stores like Wegman’s.
http://www.frontiercoop.com/products/spices.php

TIP: If your mouth gets too hot from hot or peppery spices, cool it down with milk, which cools better than water or juice.

Thanks for writing!

Does anyone else have a question regarding a vegetable?  Send them to Ruth!

May 122011
 

Choosing, Picking, and Preparing Carrots to Feed your Baby

Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that is not toxic, even in large doses.  Your baby should get a vitamin A veggie every day!  Here are some details for feeding you baby carrots:

Age: Baby must be at least 7 months old for cooked carrots, 10 months for finely grated raw carrots.

Choosing: Carrots should be firm, and not pale.  The smaller the carrot, the sweeter the carrot.

Storing: Carrots need cold temperature and high humidity.  Store in the refrigerator in plastic bag with holes.  When properly stored, carrots retain their nutrients for up to two weeks.

Preparation for cooking: Nutrients are most concentrated in the peels of carrots and just below.  You don’t have to peel or scrape young or small carrots if you give them a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush.  Older, bigger carrots are probably better peeled.

Steaming: Steam whole carrots 15 minutes, carrot slices about 10 minutes.

Baking: Large carrots can be baked in the oven.  Scrub them and leave whole and unpeeled. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Freezing: Freeze pureed carrots using the food cube method for up to 2 months.

For tips on preparing and feeding more vegetables, check out Super Baby Food book or check right back here at the Super Baby Food Blog.

Mar 282011
 


In the last Super Baby Food Blog post, we talked about the Serving Size of a Super Baby Food meal.  Size is important Also important is to balance your baby’s diet among the food groups.  To do just that, try this tip: keep food servings about the same size.  For example, if your baby’s vegetable servings are currently 2 food cubes, keep the fruit servings about the same size:  2 Food Cubes = 4 Tablespoons = 1/4 cup.  Make cooked cereal servings twice the size of fruit or veggie servings, because cooked cereal is mostly water.

For 2 veggie food cubes or 1/4 cup fruit, a similar sized cereal serving would be 1/2 cup of cooked cereal. (A half-cup of cooked cereal is only a few tablespoons of ground dry cereal before it is mixed with water).  Keeping food servings similar in size will help to promote in your baby’s diet a nice balance of nutrients from the different food groups. This is what we mean by “similar-sized” food servings.

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!