Babies can begin eating pureed foods as early as four months. Some pediatricians encourage you to wait until your baby is six months old. However, you do not have to purchase commercial baby food products. Yes, commercial baby foods are easy and convenient. However, they are also more expensive and often have added sugar and salt. If you have time to make your own baby food, you can save money and you will know exactly what your baby is eating. There are a few guidleines that need to be followed to safely make your own baby foods.
First and foremost, make sure that you are preparing your baby’s foods in a clean environment. Wash your hands and your work surface thoroughly before beginning. Make sure that all pots, bowls and utensils are clean. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before preparing. You can also peel some of them for additional cleanliness. Remember to keep cold foods cold and warm foods warm to decrease the amount of bacteria that could potentially develop.

When you begin introducing foods to your baby, make sure that you use single ingredients. Do not mix apples and bananas or peas and carrots. Introduce foods for a week at a time to make sure that your baby does not have any allergies. If you mix two or more foods at one time, you will not be sure which food caused an allergy if your baby developed one. Once you have tried apples and bananas separately, it is fine to mix them together.

Your baby does not need sugar, salt, spices, butter, oil or other additives. If you serving your baby the same foods that the rest of the family eats, take out baby’s portion before you add sugar, salt and other flavorings. It is not wise to get your baby used to the flavors of these additives because it will be hard to get your baby to eat the foods without them later on. Although adding baking soda does help preserve color, you should not add it to your baby’s foods. Doing so will deplete needed vitamins and minerals.

When cooking your baby’s foods there are some guidelines to follow. You should not cook in copper pots because this will destroy Vitamin C. You should not cook acidic foods in aluminum because it will cause small amounts of aluminum to dissolve and become absorbed in the foods that you feed your baby. You should steam, pressure cook or waterless-cook vegetables. Minimize the vegetables exposure to heat, air, light and water. If you plan to feed your baby potatoes, bake, boil or microwave them with their skins on. After the potatoes have cooked, peel the skins off before serving to your baby.

You should finely puree your baby’s foods for the first several weeks of starting to eat solid foods, or atleast until your baby is six months old. It is very easy to freeze baby foods. Prepare a large batch of foods and then freeze them in ice cube trays. You should keep individually frozen portions in freezer bags and when you are ready to use them, simply take them out of the bag and thaw in the refrigerator, double boiler, under cold water in the bag or in the microwave on defrost.