Homemade Baby Food: How to Make Baby Food – Advanced Edition

 

Homemade Baby Food:  How to Make Baby Food – Advanced EditionEarlier this week we brought you the basics of how to prepare homemade baby food.  Consider this the advanced course.  One of the major advantages of homemade baby food is that you have the opportunity to expose your baby to a variety of flavors to broaden her food horizons and let her taste buds discover the wonders of food.  Palate training can start as early as in the womb, but when your baby begins eating solid foods, she has the opportunity to explore new and exciting flavors firsthand.

One of the best ways to enrich your child’s dining experience is to mix several foods together at once.  You can mix carrots with green beans, strawberries with bananas or avocado with blueberries.  The possibilities are endless and combining different zests – sweet, savory, tangy, bitter – will help your baby develop an appreciation for food combinations and a variety of flavors.  When your baby begins to eat more at one time, you can even create a mini-meal of purees to ensure she’s getting all food groups in one setting.

It may be wise to keep things simple for your baby at the beginning, but as your baby enjoys more and more homemade baby foods, you can start to spice things up a bit.  Traditional thinking was that baby foods should be bland but now parents are challenging their baby’s taste buds by introducing a variety of herbs and spices very early in their culinary life.  Herbs and spices not only flavor foods, they can also add a range of additional nutrients and open your baby’s palate to the essence of different cultural cuisines.  Talk about creating a worldly baby!

Of course, you never want to give your baby something that is too hot or spicy.  Garlic, basil, ginger, nutmeg, dill, rosemary, oregano, mint, cinnamon, lemon zest, mild curry powder, alcohol-free vanilla and a touch of salt are all appropriate spices for babies.  Obviously think about which herbs and spices will go well with the natural flavor of a food.  For example, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg is terrific for cereals and yogurt, while garlic, rosemary and oregano are better for veggies and meats.  Just like the introduction of any other new foods, serve one new herb or spice at a time and wait three days before adding a new one to the menu.

Once you have introduced a spectrum from your spice rack, the sky’s the limit on what you can prepare for your baby.  Minty peas, why not.  Curry potatoes, sounds great!  Vanilla pumpkin, delish!  You can even puree exactly what the rest of your family is having for dinner, such as soups, stews, casseroles, spaghetti – you name it, your baby may like it.  If you find your baby is not enjoying a particular food, don’t dismiss it altogether.  First try adding breast milk to the food to see if that familiar taste will help your baby feel more comfortable with the new flavor.  Otherwise, keep a list of the foods your baby does not like yet and try them again a few months later.  What she didn’t like before may be her new favorite food.

Also, don’t forget that once your baby is older and has more teeth, she can tolerate chunkier food.  Test the waters as you feel she is ready by serving her some soft chunks every now and then.  Once your baby masters chunks, she may be ready for finger foods, which will make life much easier for you.

Expand your baby’s palate with fresh, exciting and taste-titillating homemade baby food!