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Budding Palates

Springtime heralds new life. And, it just so happens that my husband and I will welcome a second little one to our growing family this season. When I first announced my pregnancy, several messages arrived from other parents expecting around the same time. Perhaps you’re also plunging head-first into sleepless nights, abundant joys and irreplaceable experiences with a new baby this spring!

Introducing solids is an exciting phase for babies and parents. When the time comes for your baby to take their first bite of solid food, providing nutritious, delicious fare is key. To help maximize flavour and nutrition, homemade baby food is a wonderful option. Delightful purées can be made in minimal time and, in turn, can help nurture healthy eating habits in your little one.

Homemade baby food can also be more economical and a better choice for those parents that prefer to know exactly what they’re putting in their baby’s mouth. Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t good-quality commercial brands available; use your best judgement and pediatrician’s recommendations when it comes to your baby’s mealtimes.

If you do decide to go the homemade route, following are a handful of simple blends and basic tips.

Use ripe, blemish-free fruits and vegetables and source quality ingredients. Batching and freezing purées can also save on much-needed time. By about nine months of age, most babies are ready to venture into blends comprised of two or more ingredients that they’ve already been introduced to. Mixing steamed fruits with cooked vegetables and grains will bring together a variety of textures and flavours for your baby’s emerging palate.

When preparing baby food at home, sanitation is of utmost importance: wash all produce thoroughly, and sanitize hands, work surfaces, tools and equipment in advance. Peel, seed, steam, cook and cool the ingredients as necessary. Additionally, a small food processor or blender and freezer-safe containers will be a good investment during this messy yet beautiful stage of your baby’s life.

Most importantly, always consult with your baby’s pediatrician or health care provider before beginning solids or blends—it’s important to get professional advice on best practices for feeding your little one.

RECIPES

Homemade Baby Food

Recipe and Photo by Heidi Richter

Homemade baby food can also be more economical and a better choice for those parents that prefer to know exactly what they’re putting in their baby’s mouth.

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