In the following notes I would like to recommend some simple ways to prepare convenient and cost effective foods for your new baby.
You may not be an expert cook, but it is simple, and quick and the even the most ‘undomesticated’ mum will manage.
Remember that you are not catering to your personal own taste. You are opening your baby to eventual choice of the largest possible variety.
You have a clean canvas on which you can create your own masterpiece.
Go for it!
Boxed baby cereals are convenient, relatively inexpensive and easy to prepare.
You also have complete control over the amount you use.
When you start out, please choose a bland cereal. Avoid flavoured and sweetened cereals. (If you like, you can add them later) Also avoid the cereals to which milk has already been added. It is better to add the milk that baby is already drinking so as to minimise food reaction.
You can prepare your own cooked cereal but you will need to sift to refine the cereal and leave out the salt when cooking it.
Choose the freshest, best-looking vegetables.
You can’t cook two teaspoons of vegetables for baby so the best way is to prepare for a week, freeze and use as needed.
Although many little containers are available on the market, the easiest, most convenient in the early stages are ice cube trays. You can easily keep a tray just for baby and defrost an individual cube as you need it. (Please warn your partner, as he may not like to add a cube of pumpkin to his drink!)
Cling wrap or tin foil is used to cover the tray when you freeze it and don’t forget labels to date and name the container.
A food processor it will be very handy to puree the vegetables but not essential. A sift can also perform the function but will take just a little longer. Try to keep the equipment you use for baby separate, as that will minimize contamination.
Do not add flavours, salt, sugar or butter.
I generally start with something like pumpkin, as it is generally the right consistency, Gem squash or marrow can also be used.
Cook the vegetable until soft. Puree it or sift until smooth and lump free. Dispense into your containers about two or three teaspoons per unit. Cover, label, date and freeze.
After about 10 days you can add some variety by freezing carrots or marrow etc. Try out a new vegetable for at least two days before you add something new.
At first don’t mix the various yellow vegetables. Add only one new ingredient at a time so that you can observe for any reaction you may encounter.
I generally recommend that green vegetables be added about a three weeks after you have started with solids. Add them to the yellows you have already introduced. Broccoli, green beans, peas and spinach can be prepared if you can get them smooth and lump free.
Fruits are great and are added when you are planning a third meal. The reason why I don’t add it too early is to establish a vegetable taste before I add the naturally sweeter fruit (sweet tastes are much easier to introduce).
Fruit is given fresh and should not be cooked or frozen and is seasonally dependant (a variety is obtained by using bottled baby fruits).
A mashed (ripe but not over-ripe) banana is a useful starter.
Apples are grated very finely and allowed to get a little brown.
Avoid strong acidic fruits at an early stage as baby may develop a nappy rash from the acid. They can certainly be added later.
I have given you some material with which to start.
Enjoy the adventure!
© Teresa Denton