Parents should think carefully about what they’re putting on the table for their little ones if they want them to stay healthy and get their money’s worth. Preparing homemade baby food is easy once you have the right equipment. It also means you’re safe in the knowledge it is additive-free and contains all the essential nutrients for development.
These are the most important points to remember about baby food:
Up to 5 months: during this time, babies get everything they need from breast milk or infant milk.
5 – 7 months: breast milk or infant milk still make up a large part of a baby’s diet. From 5 months, you can combine this with simple mashed foods, such as a mix of fruit and/or vegetables. For example, you could start with mashed carrot and then add mashed potato to this the following week. Each week, you would then swap in or add different types of vegetables.
7 – 9 months: at this stage, babies can have breast milk and infant milk as well as mashed fruit, vegetables and rice along with well-puréed meat and pulses, tender pasta and fresh cheese.
9 – 12 months: milk continues to be replaced with thick purées, cheese and eggs as well as finger food (small pieces of fruit and vegetables, toast and soft sandwiches).
13 – 23 months: your baby’s diet expands to include various family meals.
From 24 months: toddlers can eat the same meals as the rest of the family.
The overview of these food stages shows that baby food and purées form the main part of your little one’s diet from five to twelve months. With your own equipment, you can whip up culinary delights for baby in your own home with very little effort.
We would always recommend making a large batch of baby food and then freezing the rest. This means you’ll always be well-prepared for day trips, nursery, visits from granny and grandpa or any emergencies that can befall new parents.
All you need to prepare baby food is a hand-held blender with a chopper, small bowls for food preparation and a freezer container for storing portions. The Braun MultiQuick 5 hand-held blender ticks all these boxes and was designed specially for baby food making. Thanks to an additional blade on the blending shaft, the MultiQuick 5 can prepare extra-fine baby purée. This is especially important when you’re first getting baby used to solids.
The blender comes with a 600 ml plastic beaker for blending, a chopper for purée with a coarser texture and a specially shaped spatula. The set also includes a dishwasher-safe, anti-bacteria freezer tray for storing baby food potions. When you’re reheating frozen baby food, make sure it comes to the boil before you let it cool. Any frozen baby food has to be used up within two months or thrown out. Remember: Baby food can only be defrosted once. If you don’t use it all, you’ll have to put it in the bin.
Salt: you should never add salt to baby food. Salty stock is also something you want to avoid, as this can damage baby’s kidneys. Don’t worry about your baby getting enough salt, as all the nutrients they need in the first few months can be found in breast milk or infant milk.
Sugar: baby food that contains sugar can lead to tooth decay in baby teeth. If necessary, you can use alternatives such as puréed banana, breast milk or milk substitute to sweeten dishes.
Honey: babies under 12 months shouldn’t be given honey, as it sometimes contains bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal infections.
Nuts: children under five shouldn’t have nuts in their diet, as they could choke on them or develop an allergy.
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