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Do you get worried about what to prepare for your baby every morning? Do you run out of ideas of what to feed your little one? Preparing baby food is one of the exciting tasks that each mother experiences in the first year of motherhood. In fact, it’s something most women don’t plan for. Mothers just naturally learn these along the way because the reality is, there’s no manual that comes with the baby.
When I was a first time mom, I used to run out of ideas of what to feed my baby. There were also days when I get tired just thinking about preparing food each day. And I think that’s normal especially when you’re awake most of day looking after your new baby. It’s perfectly acceptable for mothers to get exhausted and frustrated quite quickly during the first year. There’s so much to do each day with very little sleep. When you’re alone and away from close relatives who can help you with all the chores, you are left with no other choice but to help yourself get through and stay sane.
To resolve my dilemma, I came up with a plan. The plan to plan everything as much as I can, from the easiest to the heaviest task. I plan an entire week worth of food and I made sure that I have all the ingredients I need. Believe me, I was never a planner before. When I became a mother, I learned that planning is the key. It helps a lot and it makes things easier.
In This Article…
I will share some food ideas on what you can prepare for your baby. Do remember that each baby is unique. Some babies may be ready for some of the food ideas listed here, and some might not. If you are in any way unsure and/or uncomfortable in following any of these, kindly skip them.
Baby FOOD IDEAS FOR at least 6 months old
This is the first stage of introducing food to your little one. Always bear in mind that your baby has only been taking milk during the first 6 months of his life. Therefore during this first stage, it is a must that you do it carefully to not upset his stomach. Make sure that when you start weaning your baby, you do it in little amounts. As much as possible, you introduce one specific food per week.
Unsweetened Baby Porridge
Make your own baby porridge by using 2 ingredients only, rolled oats and milk – breastmilk or formula milk. Blitz the rolled oats in a food processor until it is fine, like a flour or powder consistency. To make a small serving of porridge oatmeal, use 1 tablespoon of oats and mix it with 3 tablespoons of milk. Heat gently in a saucepan for 4 minutes by stirring gently.
Homemade Baby Rice Cereal
Instead of buying ready-made rice cereals from your local store, you can easily make this at home using 3 ingredients – brown rice, water, and milk (breastmilk or formula.) Make sure that you rinse the rice well before cooking it. Cook 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of water by bringing it to a boil in high heat which takes about 5 mins, then by reducing the heat to low and letting it cook further for at least 20 minutes. Once cooked, let it rest for another 20 minutes then blend it in a food processor with half a cup of your choice of milk for 1 minute. You may add more milk until the desired consistency is achieved.
When making pureed vegetables, it is important that you wash the vegetables properly before cooking it. The most common vegetables used in the early stage of weaning are potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and peas. To prepare any of these vegetables, you need to cook them first with water by boiling it until it is soft and tender. Once ready, move it to a food processor, add enough water or milk and blitz it until it is smooth.
When it comes to pureed fruits, you just need to make sure that the fruit you are about to give to your child is ripe and properly peeled and washed. You have to cook or boil harder fruits like apples to soften before blitzing them. Common fruits that you can introduce to your baby at 6 months of age are bananas, apples, mangoes, nectarines, pears and more.
Baby Food IDEAS FOR at least 9 months old
Apart from the pureed food listed above, you may start introducing more textured food to your child when he reaches 9 months of age. You can mix and match any of the food below if you want to have variation for your baby.
Mashed vegetables are very easy to make. The most popular one that you can make and is something that most moms make to introduce to their babies at this stage is a mashed potatoes. All you need is a medium-sized potato or a couple of small-sized potatoes for a small serving. Then with a boiling water in a saucepan, cook the vegetables in it until it is soft. Take the potatoes out of the water and mash it using a fork. You may add a small amount of liquid or milk of your choice to make it smoother. Apart from potatoes, you can also use carrots, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, parsnips, or sweet potatoes for variation. You may also combine vegetables together and mash them to give your child more sources of nutrients.
Just like pureed fruits, mashed fruits are very nutritious. It is very easy to make and it is something that you can make for your baby alongside the mashed vegetables. The only difference that you make this time is instead of using a food processor, you just need to grab a fork to mash the fruits. Giving your baby mashed fruits introduces him to more textured food and is one way of preparing him into eating solid foods.
Minced meat AS bABY fOOD
Start introducing meat to your babies during this stage by cooking the meat first in a no sodium broth. It will take about 20 minutes to boil meat to cook it. Dice or cube the meat into small pieces to cook faster. Take the meat out of the broth and let it cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, move the meat to a blender or a food processor and blitz it until you achieve fine minced meat consistency. Once done, you may mix it with your mashed vegetables for your baby to eat. Doing such gives your child more protein which is good for the body. You may use a small serving of beef, chicken or fish for your child as early as 9 months.
Eggs As Baby Food
One of the best and easiest food to prepare for your baby is a hard-boiled egg. All you need to do is boil the egg in a water for at least 12 minutes. Peel the shell off and move the egg to a bowl and mash it for your baby to eat.
Baby FOOD IDEAS FOR Those WHO CAN EAT SOLID FOOD
Hurrah, finally your baby is eating solid food! Each baby is unique especially in terms of development so some babies may start eating solid food early and some may start later. You don’t have to rush if your baby isn’t eating solid foods as early as the others because mumma, we are not in a race. But as soon as your baby starts eating solids, you’ll find it fun to prepare.
You can start feeding your baby small portions of rice with minced meat, or mashed vegetables. You can also start feeding your baby other rice meals like curry or other savoury food with rice as long as you keep in mind that you do not put salt or sugar for your baby as their bodies do not need it yet.
Another way to make eating fun for your baby is to prepare pasta for him. Choose small types of pasta such as macaroni or spirals, and make sure that you cook it well before giving it to your child.
Boiled or air-fried vegetables
Gone are the days when you need to blitz the vegetables for your baby to consume. This time, you just need to boil it or air-fry it and serve it to your little one. When you do this, make sure that you cut or sliced the vegetables into strips so your baby won’t choke on it. You can use vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.
During this stage, the meat that you give to your child doesn’t have to be pureed. You can give well-cooked beef, lamb, fish or chicken meat to your child in small portions by cutting or shredding it in small portions. This can be mixed with cooked rice, vegetables or pasta and is a great source of protein and other nutrients that are good for the development of your baby.
Once your child starts eating solids, it becomes easier for you to prepare it because eventually you don’t have to prepare a separate set of food for him. The ideas provided above are not all-inclusive as there are other foods too that you can give to your baby when you start weaning him.
Also remember that whenever you prepare food, it is important to take extra care to not put your baby at risk so ensure that you follow proper food safety and hygiene all the time.
Reminders for you to take note of when Preparing Baby Food:
- Make sure that you let hot food cool down first and you must test it before feeding it to your baby
- Wash your hands before preparing food and always keep surfaces clean
- You must wash and peel fruit and vegetables for your child and make sure that hard pips and stones are removed
- You must remove hard bones from meat or fish before feeding it to your child
- Always ensure that your baby is supervised and regulate the food when he’s eating in case he starts to choke
Encourage your baby to be involved when you feed them as this encourages self-feeding. Feeding your baby in the early stage can sometimes become frustrating so be extra patient for your child.
Hope this article has helped you in some way and if you have stories to tell about how you feed your child or children, leave us a comment below as we love to read them.