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Tips for Making Baby Food

Published on: February 01, 2011

Read our recent article, "Puree and simple."

From Elisa Taylor, ParentMap's ad production manager:

  • Cook fruit in a little water until soft.
  • Puree in a blender - it works better for small batches and gets things smoother than a food processor.
  • Keep a lid on the pot and use the cooking water to thin the puree - to keep as many nutrients as possible.
  • Freeze puree in ice cube trays, and then pop out the cubes and store in a Ziploc freezer bag in freezer.
  • In addition to the main individual bags of one kind of fruit or veggie cube, to help me remember to feed a variety of foods, I'd keep a mixed bag of "oranges" (sweet potatoes, carrots) and another of "greens" (beans, broccoli, kale) to last me the week.
  • Don't feed your babies sweetened yogurt! Plain yogurt is delicious!
  • I LOVED the book Super Baby Food!

From reporter Maria Bellos Fisher:

  • Soft foods that we eat, like mashed potatoes and mashed bananas, are fine for baby as is. Dr. Begert said she couldn’t figure out why people bought jarred banana baby food.
  • Foods you don't even have to cook or puree: applesauce, avocados, bananas, cream of wheat, watermelon, yogurt, sour cream, soft cheeses like mascarpone and ricotta (cheese is recommended only at 8 months and older, according to the USDA).
  • As baby grows, decrease the amount of time you puree foods to leave some lumps.

The "dirty dozen" - foods according to the Environmental Working Group:

  • Choose organic whenever possible when purchasing:
    Peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, grapes (imported), carrots, pears

The "clean 15"- lowest in pesticides:

Onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus. sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato, sweet potato

Source: The Environmental Working Group

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