As I've mentioned before, my cousin Yolandie and her best friend, Liani are both preggers at the same time. Yolandie and I were having a chat last week and it came up in discussion that she would like to make her own baby food as compared to having to buy the jars of food at the supermarket. I happen to agree; there is nothing more satisfying than cooking up a few pots of nummies and then freezing them till you're ready for a feed but before we get to Chef Shants's Original baby food recipes; I thought it would be a good idea to add some extra info...let's take a quick read:
When should I introduce solid food to my baby?
You can introduce solids any time between 4 and 6 months if your baby is ready. Until then, breast milk or formula provides all the calories and nourishment your baby needs and can handle. His digestive system simply isn't ready for solids until he nears his half-birthday.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for at least six months – though parents will attest that some babies are eager and ready to eat solids earlier.
How will I know when my baby's ready?
Your baby will give you clear signs when he's ready to move beyond liquid-only nourishment. Cues to look for include:
Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position.
Losing the "extrusion reflex." To keep solid food in his mouth and then swallow it, your baby needs to stop using his tongue to push food out of his mouth.
Sitting well when supported. Even if he's not quite ready for a highchair, your baby needs to be able to sit upright to swallow well.
Chewing motions. Your baby's mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow. As he learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling – though if your baby's teething, you might still see a lot of drool.
Significant weight gain. Most babies are ready to eat solids when they've doubled their birth weight (or weigh about 15 pounds) and are at least 4 months old.
Growing appetite. He seems hungry – even with eight to ten feedings of breast milk or formula a day.
Curiosity about what you're eating. Your baby may begin eyeing your bowl of rice or reaching for a forkful of fettuccine as it travels from your plate to your mouth. (Thanks babycentre.com)
Well, at least now you will know when baby is ready to try out some new foods. As a mother I found that introducing solid foods slowly was a good idea to allow baby to get used to each new taste. Then I would blend a few tastes that baby liked and came up with some pretty lovely recipes. I also want to add that I started off with very smooth baby food and as baby got used to it; I'd make it a bit more chunkier. We sometimes make the mistake of only giving baby lump-free food (which is correct in the beginning to avoid choking) but some texture should slowly be introduced at the right time so baby doesn't become fussy and just want smooth foods. Most of my recipes call for steaming. I steam instead of fry or boil because steaming allows for the vitamins and nutrients to be stored within the food and not boil out. Steaming is also the healthiest method of food prep for your baby. Having said all this, here are three of my original recipes....
Butternut, Apple and Honey
1 kg butternut, peeled and diced
2 apples of your choice, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons of honey.
Steam together the butternut and apple till very soft. Allow to slightly cool and then bomb in a blender. Add the honey and blend till completely smooth Allow to cool completely, portion into single portion tupperwares and freeze till needed. This will last for up to 8 days. Just nuke in the microwave before serving to baby.
Pears and Carrots with Potato.
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped.
4 carrots, peeled and grated
1 pear, peeled and chopped.
Weeny pinch of salt.
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
As before with the previous recipe, steam together the carrots, pear and potatoes till very soft. Using the same method, allow to cool and blend together with the brown sugar. Portion and freeze till use.
Baby's Banana Pud
1 ripe mashed banana
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
Mash together all the ingredients and serve immediately.
I have many baby food recipes to share so keep your eyes glued to the chef mother blog for more easy peasy fresh, nutritious and quick baby food recipes! See ya'll tomorrow for another great Eat Like blog.
Organic food is best for baby (after breastfeeding); peeps!
Chef Shants the mommy too xxxxx