Stage-by-Stage Basic Homemade Baby Food Guide
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    Posting Addict MrsMangoBabe's Avatar
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    Default Stage-by-Stage Basic Homemade Baby Food Guide

    pregnancy.org articles about the advantages of homemade baby food

    Artificial Feeding and the Case for Homemade Baby Food
    Homemade Baby Food: A Fresh start to healthy eating

    Resources for Making Baby Food:

    Websites:

    www.wholesomebabyfood.com--a fabulous, comprehensive site
    http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com--another really great site
    http://www.cuisinart.com/baby/--includes recipes, a meal planner, and a calculator that shows how much money you save
    http://www.freshbaby.com/--lots of info, articles, and products

    Books:

    The Healthy Baby Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel
    Super Baby Foods by Ruth Yaron

    ***The following basic guide was written from my own experience and information from the website www.wholesomebabyfood.com, which I could never have made baby food without.***

    Contents:

    1: Resources and Contents

    2: Stage 1 Guide (before 8 months)
    -Solids Readiness
    -The First Feeding
    -Introducing new foods
    -Common Foods Introduced at this Age
    -Tips for making first foods
    -Finger Food options

    3: Stage 2 Guide (8-10 months)
    -Common Foods Introduced at this Age
    -Tips for making purees for 8-10 month-olds
    -Finger Food options

    4: Transitioning to Table Foods Guide (10-12 months)
    -Common Foods Introduced at this Age
    -Tips for making purees for 10-12 month-olds
    -Finger Food options
    Last edited by MrsMangoBabe; 08-07-2009 at 01:56 PM.

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    Default Stage 1 Guide (before 8 months)

    Solids Readiness:

    Here is a great article on determining if your baby is ready or not: Is My Baby Ready for Solids?

    The First Feeding:

    Single grain baby cereal is traditionally the first food offered, but it doesn’t have to be. There is no evidence that it is any better to start with cereal than other nutritious foods. Other foods that you may consider offering first include sweet potatoes, acorn or butternut squash, avocado, pears, and applesauce.

    You’ll want to start with a small amount (1 tablespoon or so) of very thin food. Eating from a spoon is a new experience for a baby, so don’t be surprised if your baby seems confused or spits the food out. If your baby doesn’t seem ready when you try, it’s okay to wait a while—solids are more for fun and learning at this stage than for nutrition.

    Introducing new foods:

    It is recommended to introduce new foods a few days apart (some sources say 2-3 days, some say 3-4) and to always watch for signs of food sensitivity or allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, gassiness, difficulty breathing, and swelling) after introducing new foods. Introducing one food at a time can make it easier to identify which food is causing a reaction, should one occur.

    Common Foods Introduced at this Age:

    Cereals: rice, oat, barley
    Fruits: pears, applesauce, avocado, banana,
    after 6 months: apricots, nectarines/peaches, plums/prunes, mangoes
    Vegetables: sweet potatoes, acorn or butternut squash, green beans,
    after 6 months: carrots, peas, pumpkin, yellow squash, zucchini

    Tips for making first foods:

    Making Baby Cereal: Cereal can be made using a grinder or a blender, then cook it with water, similarly to the way you would cook oatmeal.

    Cooking Fruits and Vegetables. With the exception of bananas and avocados, fruits and vegetables given at this age should be cooked. They can be peeled, cut in pieces and steamed until soft (green beans and peas can be steamed whole) or they can be baked. Steaming can be down either in an electric steamer or a steaming basket placed over a pot of boiling water. Usually the best way to bake is to cut the food in half, remove any seeds or cores, and bake in a little bit of water, cut side down, at 400 degrees until the skin puckers or starts to brown. You may coat your pan with a little olive oil instead of using water if you wish. Sweet potatoes can be baked whole wrapped in aluminum foil until they become soft. I find steaming works well for green beans, carrots, peas, and mangoes. Baking works well for sweet potatoes, pumpkin, acorn/ butternut squash, pears, peaches, and plums. Baking in the skins makes it easier to remove them.

    Pureeing Fruits and Vegetables. After your fruits or vegetables are cooked, you are ready to puree. Save your cooking water to use to thin the purees. Nutrients from food will often leach into the cooking water during cooking, so adding some back in can help you keep more nutrients in your baby food. The only exception to this is for vegetables with high nitrate concentration, such as carrots, broccoli, and spinach. Using fresh water for a carrot puree will reduce the concentration of nitrates in the baby food. If you used the steaming method, the food can go straight to the blender or food processor. If you baked the food, you now should remove the skins (for some fruits, they’ll slip right off) and then put the insides in your appliance of choice. As you puree, add liquid slowly to help the appliance break up any chunks and achieve a smooth texture. For this early stage, you will want to add quite a bit of liquid because your baby is used to liquid only foods. As your baby gets older, you can gradually reduce the amount of liquid you add.

    If you prefer to use breastmilk for thinning purees, make sure your breastmilk is only frozen once. If you have already frozen breastmilk, you don’t want to thaw it, add it to your puree, and then freeze again. If you want to use already frozen breastmilk, you can freeze your puree thick and add the breastmilk before serving. You can add freshly pumped milk to purees and freeze them.

    Freezing and storing homemade babyfood. The easiest way to freeze babyfood is to put it in ice cube trays, cover the tray with plastic wrap, and freeze, then transfer to a labeled zip-top freezer bag. Each cube is approximately 1 oz. You’ll probably start out serving only 1 cube a meal and then increase to 2 cubes.

    Finger Food options:

    Babies do not need teeth to eat finger foods. Anything that you can mash between your thumb and forefinger is generally soft enough for a baby to mash it with his or her gums. Cooked, diced fruits, such as pears, apples, peaches, and mangoes, make good finger foods for this age. Dices of ripe banana or avocado are also a good option.

    There is a technique of solids introduction that relies solely on the baby feeding him/herself instead of being spooned food by an adult. It most commonly referred to as “baby-led weaning,” because the baby, not the parent, decides how much solid food the baby eats. The use of the term “weaning” is somewhat misleading because we tend to associate weaning with stopping breast or bottle feeding, and whether or not you use this method doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with when your baby will stop breast or bottle feeding. Another name for the method is “baby-led solids introduction,” For more on this technique, check out http://www.borstvoeding.com/voedseli...lw/engels.html
    Last edited by MrsMangoBabe; 06-27-2009 at 01:59 PM.

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    Default Stage 2 Guide (8-10 months)

    Common Foods Introduced at this Age:

    Grains: wheat
    Fruits: blueberries, melons, cherries, cranberries, dates, figs, kiwi, papaya
    Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, white potatoes, onions, peppers, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips
    Protein: chicken, turkey, tofu, egg yolks, beans/legumes, beef, pork, ham
    Dairy: whole yogurt (not low fat or fat free), cheese

    Tips for making purees for 8-10 month-olds:

    At this stage, as your baby learns to chew better, you should begin to make purees thicker and chunkier. Sometimes you can add less water in the pureeing process to achieve a chunkier texture. With some foods, you may want to mash some of it by hand and puree the rest.

    Now that your baby has been introduced to a lot of foods, you can try different combinations. Many babies love combinations that adults would not think of trying—so, get creative!

    This is also the stage where you can start cooking with spices, but leave out the salt, it’s found in breast milk and formula, and their kidneys need to mature before they can handle more than that. Here is some more information on adding spices: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/tipspices.htm

    Finger Food options:

    Bread and pasta make good grain finger foods. Soft fruits are also good—fruit can be given raw at this stage, but cook it if it’s too hard. Cut up soft-cooked vegetables (squashes, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, etc) and sweet potato fries are great options as well. Grated cheese can be a good finger food (the grater is also good for apples and pears)
    Last edited by MrsMangoBabe; 05-06-2009 at 01:39 PM.

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    Default Transitioning to Table Foods Guide (10-12 months)

    Common Foods Introduced at this Age:

    Fruits: berries, citrus, grapes (cut into quarters)
    Vegetables: artichokes, beets, corn, spinach, tomatoes
    Protein: white fish, whole eggs (at 12 months)

    Tips for making purees for 10-12 month-olds:

    You may want to try pureeing whole meals for your baby now. Many babies at this age begin to refuse to be spoon-fed. Usually this is a signal to start giving more finger foods and letting her feed herself. It can be a frustrating stage because babies get choosy about food, but as long as she is still breast or bottle feeding, you don’t have to worry about how much is eaten.

    Finger Food options:

    Your baby will probably now be able to eat a variety of finger foods and you can start feeding him what the rest of the family is eating, cut into bite size pieces if necessary.

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    Thanks a lot for the useful info. I have a 4 month old baby and I ahve started given her ornage juice since 1 month back whch she accepts with great interest. I am starting with vegetable soup now.
    tpillows likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acho1 View Post
    Thanks a lot for the useful info. I have a 4 month old baby and I ahve started given her ornage juice since 1 month back whch she accepts with great interest. I am starting with vegetable soup now.
    This concerns me. Experts recommend giving nothing but breastmilk or formula for at least 4 months, preferably 6, because breastmilk/formula is the best nutrition for them and their tummy's aren't really ready to digest much else before then. Here are some articles about it:

    Starting Solid Foods

    Is My Baby Ready for Solids?

    and for more articles, see this search: Search results for Solids

    I am particularly concerned that you mentioned giving orange juice this early. Orange is a citrus and very acidic, which can be rough on a baby's digestive system. Here is a link to a Q&A from Dr. Alan Greene's website answering a question about giving a baby orange juice: Citrus Foods and Baby
    -Brittany
    Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Mom to three adorable troublemakers
    Two time joyful Hypnobabies natural birthing mom
    My blog: Birth Unplugged

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