Newborns get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula. But as they grow older, their nutritional demand increases and you have to feed them some tasty and nutritious foods for their proper growth and development. While it is certainly possible to give them jarred baby food, homemade baby food tends to be more nourishing. Here is a buyer’s guide telling you how to choose the right baby food recipes for your little one:
It’s amazing how quickly babies become tired of eating the same foods. But who can blame them? How many times can you eat a banana puree before you become sick of it? That’s where baby food recipes come in handy. These books give you a variety of creative and yummy food ideas to try out.
That said, you should never randomly pick up any baby food recipe book. Always consider the following things before making the purchase.
The first and foremost thing that you have to take into consideration is your baby’s age. The different baby food recipes available out there are either suitable for babies or toddlers, or for both. A book that offers a combination of both is a better choice because you can try the various recipes as your child graduates with the different levels of foods. Plus, you also won’t need to purchase another book when your baby starts on solid foods.
The next thing you have to make sure of is that the recipes are in line with your family’s diet. For instance, if your household is vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want baby food recipes that don’t include meat as an ingredient. Doing so will help your baby get used to the family diet and will gladly adopt it when they are ready to eat regular foods.
You should also keep an eye out for the types of recipes that are included in the cookbook. Some babies like purees while others enjoy finger foods more. You should look for a recipe book that includes everything, purees, smoothies, finger foods, and solids. This way your baby will get to explore the tastes and textures of different foods.
Not everyone is qualified enough to whip up nutritious baby food recipes. That’s why you should also keep a keen eye on the author’s background. Be sure to pick up a book whose author has worked closely with babies and has sufficient knowledge about various foods and their nutritional properties.
Just like adults, babies also appreciate variety in their daily diet plans. You should therefore make it a point to buy the recipe book with enough recipes for the entire week. This way you will get the chance to introduce your tot’s tastebuds to a whole variety of flavors and textures.
While most baby foods can be prepared using an immersion blender, a food processor or a basic countertop blender, you should still check the potential recipe book to make sure it does not call for other equipment that you might not have on hand.
Homemade baby foods are more beneficial for your little one than store-bought ones. But even with the purest and highest-quality ingredients, the food can turn out harmful if you don’t prepare it correctly. Here are some tips for correctly making different foods:
Of course, your baby won’t start chewing meat right away. You need to puree it before feeding it to them. But before you do that make sure that the meat is completely cooked. You should also not waste the juices because they come in handy when you are blending the meat.
Once the meat is cooked, take it out of the juices and chop it into small pieces. Let it cool down completely before blending it with the juice.
Barley, oatmeal and rice are the most popular grains used for making baby foods. There are two ways to prepare grains for your baby. You can either grind the raw grains into a fine powder and cook the ground powder with different broths until the desired consistency is reached. Or you blend them after cooking. When pureeing cooked grains, make sure to stop before they become pasty.
When it comes to eggs, the yolk is the component that you should be feeding your baby. You can pop out the yolk from a hard-boiled egg and blend it in liquids like breast milk or baby formula milk. Alternatively, you can separate the yolk from the white of a raw egg and scramble it with breastmilk or formula before frying it in butter or olive oil.
The first rule of cooking produce, whether you are preparing it for a baby or an adult, is to wash it thoroughly. When you wash it rigorously, it removes dirt, impurities, or any leftover chemicals if the product is not organic. After washing, you can simply cook the different foods before mashing them into purees. Be sure to add in some liquid agent to achieve the desired consistency. You can use breast milk, baby formula and sometimes water for this purpose.
America’s Test Kitchen Baby Food Recipes is a suitable choice for parents who want to dive into the world of baby food. Being a part of the popular cookbook series, this book contains tried and tested recipes that are loved by babies. From purees to finger foods and toddler meals, it includes recipes for the different stages of your baby’s development.
The book is helpfully divided into different sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for. All the directions are easy to follow. Plus, the flavors of the dishes are balanced and great. The variety is vast, so you won’t quickly run out of ideas. This is our top pick overall for its simple language and variety.
Our next pick is the right choice for parents who live an organic lifestyle, The Big Book of Organic Baby Food Recipes contains over 150 recipes each featuring organic and whole food ingredients.
Based on your little one’s age and stage of development, this baby food recipe book is also divided into different chapters. You can use it to whip up simple, single-ingredient purees for your little one, or to create a complete meal for your whole family. The best part? Each chapter includes the developmental changes and FAQs so you can make informed nutritional decisions.
The Super Easy Baby Food Recipes is a comprehensive guide for busy parents. In addition to healthy yet super easy recipes, this cookbook helps you plan ahead. You can use the included sample menus and puree recipes. It includes recipes for kids aged six months to three years. What’s more? It also contains some five-ingredient recipes that your whole family will enjoy.
The baby food recipes in this cookbook make use of herbs and spices that are often overlooked. The colorful foods it uses not only help grab your little one’s attention, but the delicious flavors also help them become a natural foodie with an appreciation for real flavors.
If you are afraid of starting solid foods just yet, our next pick will serve you well with its selection of amazing pureed meals. As the name already gives away, Top 100 Baby Food Recipes contains 100 recipes of baby food purees that you can prepare quickly and easily.
It makes use of a wide range of ingredients including meats, fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy items. And that’s not all. This book also provides you with useful information such as how to wean and transition your baby to solid foods, how to freeze and reheat home-prepared baby food and about food allergies.
Baby-led weaning is a technique that has gained quite some popularity. It involves letting your little one explore the food on their own. If you also want to practice this technique with your little one, The Baby-Led Weaning Baby Food Recipes are bound to help you out.
The baby food recipes in this book can help your baby eat from their own plate. It contains advice on which food you should start with along with tips to minimize the mess. There are healthy recipes for snacks, meals and desserts as well as at-a-glance information about food safety and nutrition.
A: Yes, baby food recipes are definitely worth it. Jarred baby food and purees can be pricey. Making your own version of the same ingredients is not only cheaper, but it is also often more nutritious. Plus, you'll also know where the ingredients came from.
A: The first baby food recipes that you try should be rich in iron and protein. Ingredients like chicken, legumes, cooked beef, lamb, tofu, pork or eggs are rich in protein. You can mix these with other healthy foods such as vegetables, grains, fruits and dairy.
A: Some cons of preparing your own baby food include costly organic ingredients and time consumption. Plus, these foods tend to spoil faster than the baby food jars available in various stores.
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