Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2015 Contents A28
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 5, 2015
Homemade baby food is a popular
option for parents who want to know
exactly what goes into their baby s
mouth---and making it may be easier
than you think. Parents who prefer
homemade baby food have many rea-
sons for their choice.
• They know exactly what they re
feeding their baby.
• It s more economical than buying
pre-packaged foods (although some
parents note that this is not always the
• They can choose their own fruits,
vegetables, and other foods for purees,
instead of relying on the flavours chosen
• It gets the baby used to eating the
same food as the rest of the family---
just in puree form.
Myra Bartalos, the mother of a 20-
month-old daughter in Brooklyn, NY,
found that making her own baby food
was easy and appealed to her concern
for her daughter s nutrition.
"What sealed the deal for me was
finding out that jarred food is cooked
at extremely high temperatures to kill
bacteria for longer storage, at the same
time taking out many of the food s vita-
mins and nutrients and taste," says Bar-
talos. "I would roast, steam, or boil veg-
gies or fruit on the weekends and puree
in a mini food processor. I d make three
or four different fruits and veggies at
a time, so I had a month s worth of
food with each cooking weekend."
"Making your own baby food does
help you think more about what you re
feeding your child," says Erika Radtke,
mother of a four-year-old boy and new-
born daughter in Carlsbad, California.
"And it seems to pave the way for mak-
ing healthier meals, even as he or she
Some parents who ve tried and given
up on homemade baby food point out
these disadvantages to making it:
• Time. It takes time to make and
prepare lots of little servings of home-
made baby food. It s much faster to pick
up prepackaged servings.
• Convenience. Prepackaged baby
foods come in measured amounts and
ready to serve.
• Storage. Homemade baby foods
may spoil more quickly and require
refrigeration, which may take up room
in your fridge or freezer if you make a
lot of servings ahead of time. Prepack-
aged baby foods don t need refrigerator
storage until they re opened.
Although Radtke made some of her
son s baby food, she admits: "It was a
pain. I used to take a whole weekend
to cook the foods, portion it out into
ice cube trays, freeze them and store
them. I didn t have a problem using
Gerber s or Earth s Best when I ran out,
If you re daunted by the idea of mak-
ing your own baby food, don t feel that
you re neglecting your baby.
"Foods intended for babies are so
pure to begin with," says Jennifer Shu,
MD, a pediatrician in Atlanta.
If you decide to make your own baby
food, says Shu, it s not that difficult:
"All you need is a food grinder and a
way to steam the food." (If you re taking
the time to make your own baby food,
steaming is the best way to cook ingre-
dients because it preserves the most
nutrients.) If you don t have a food
grinder, just use a potato masher or
blender, to make sure the food is soft
and does not have chunks.
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
baby food: Is it
right for you?
SIX EASY STEPS
• Wash and rinse your hands and
• Scrub and peel fruits and
• Bake, steam, roast, or microwave
until tender (steaming and
microwaving preserve the most
• Puree in a food processor with a
little liquid (water, breast milk, or
formula), or mash if your baby can
handle more texture.
• Store in the refrigerator or
freezer, in airtight containers.
(Packaged baby foods can be stored
in the cupboard until they're opened;
because they're fresh, homemade
baby foods can't.)
• Rewarm when it's time to eat
and allow to cool.
There are a number of storage
containers sold specifically for
refrigerating and freezing small
serving-sized amounts of baby food;
or you can also just use an ice cube
In addition to fruits and
vegetables, you can puree foods
such as cooked meats (fully cooked,
with no pink, and remove fat, skin,
and connective tissue), beans, and
When you're preparing some
foods, you can actually cut the steps
down to one. "Cutting up a very ripe
pear, mashing a banana, mashing an
avocado---that's making your own
baby food," Shu tells WebMD.
"Or, for example, when you make
mashed potatoes for the family, set
aside some that don't have whole
milk added. You can add a little
butter or mild spices. As long as
you're eating healthy, you can give
your baby a modified version of
what you're eating."
Some parents who've tried and given up on homemade baby food point out these disadvantages to making it:
Time: It takes time to make and prepare lots of little servings of homemade baby food. Convenience:
Prepackaged baby foods come in measured amounts and ready to serve. Storage: Homemade baby foods
may spoil more quickly and require refrigeration.
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