Homemade Baby-Food Basics E-mail
Friday, 04 February 2011 00:00  |  Written by Rhiannon Bernice | Blog Entry

Baby Eating Sweet Potatoes by AaronMaking your own baby food is a wonderful way to ensure that your child is eating healthy food, and at a fraction of the cost of prepackaged baby foods. Since you’re probably not going to use additives or fillers, unlike many of the pre-made baby foods on store shelves, you’ll know that your child is eating 100% real food. It takes relatively little time to prepare wholesome and delicious food for your little one, and homemade foods can be stored easily for use later when time may be in short supply. Many of the best foods for babies don’t even require cooking, just some small amount of mashing before serving.

Quick and Easy
Feeding your baby might be a mess, but making good food doesn’t have to be. Whether it’s a grain-based hot cereal (try to avoid wheat for the first year as it can tax your baby’s digestive system), mashed-up vegetables or fresh fruit, preparing food for your baby takes little more than a pot, a fork and a blender.

Avocados are a great first food. They’re loaded with nutrients—including protein, calcium and potassium—so they are ideal for growing children. They need no cooking and almost no mashing. Just cut one open, scoop out the soft green flesh, gently mash with the back of a fork and serve. As an option, for a nice balance of sugars and fats, add some mashed banana. Avocados, bananas and other such soft fruits come ready-to-eat in their own packaging, require no cooking and make great snacks when you’re away from home.

Cooking and Storage
While you’re making food for yourself, throw a pot of carrots, peas or cubes of squash on the back burner with a little water to steam. When they’re done, set aside for a few minutes to cool, then toss them in the blender (be sure to use the liquid they cooked in, since it has lots of nutrients that were leeched during the cooking process). Pour the resulting puree into an ice-cube tray and place it in your freezer to make cubes of frozen veggie puree. When frozen, transfer them to a Ziplock bag and keep them in the freezer for easy storage and future use. When you need them, just thaw and serve.

Sprouted, organic brown rice can be cooked well, then blended thoroughly with a little water until it’s smooth for a warm cereal. A boiled egg yolk also makes an excellent food for babies, and it takes just a few minutes to prepare. Boil an egg, making sure that the whites around the yolk are completely cooked (to avoid any possibility of salmonella), then remove the yolk and mash with a fork. Precooked yolks can also be frozen for future use.

Healthy, Local and Delicious
Find fresh, organic vegetables at your local co-op or farmer’s market. Yams or sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash and parsnips are all excellent foods for babies, and can be purchased from your local farmer and stored during the winter. Green peas, like avocados, are packed with nutrients. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, green peas are a great source of folate, vitamin K, manganese and vitamin C, among others, all vital components of a healthy diet. Remember, the more colorful fruits and veggies you bring into your baby’s diet, the more vitamins!

So why spend your hard-earned money on less healthy, store-bought foods in excessive packaging—especially when they come with a bloated carbon footprint thanks to manufacturing and long-distance shipping? Instead, serve your baby the most delicious and nutritious meals you can: food grown organically by local farmers and prepared lovingly by you. You’ll be supporting your baby’s health, the local community and the environment. How wonderful is that?

Additional resources:
The Wholesome Baby Food website
Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Eco Recipes
Eco Parenting Blog
Kids and Family Eco Zine

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Written by Ross Wolfe , March 26, 2011
Recently I wrote a blog entry offering a leftist critique of the ideology of “Green” environmentalism, animal rights activism, eco-friendliness, and lifestyle politics in general (veganism, “dumpster diving,” “buying organic,” etc.). I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter and any responses you might have to its criticisms.
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