By Lisa Barnes
Preparing your own homemade food for your baby does not require a lot of extra gadgets or appliances. Many items you already have in your kitchen and use for the entire family. However there are a few items that can make preparing food more convenient and efficient for you, and safer for your baby. Here are a few items that I recommend and their uses. Note that these items are not just for when your child is a baby but become a part of your everyday routine when cooking for the whole family.
Most of these items can be purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond, major department stores (Macy’s) or cooking stores (Williams Sonoma, Home Chef), unless otherwise noted.
Food Processors – many people already have a full size food processor in their kitchen, for a variety of tasks. This is easy to do large quantities of baby food for storing in the freezer and creating convenience. For most full size (7 cup – 11cup) processors you can also get a mini bowl attachment which works well for smaller batches and individual servings. The metal blade works the best for pureeing. In the beginning to create a very smooth consistency you may want to strain the pureed food to eliminate any lumps or fibers. A metal mesh strainer works best.
Mini or baby food processors – these are usually a 3 cup size. This can be handy and economical for a few servings or when traveling.
Blenders – again this is a basic kitchen item. This works well for foods with a higher water content such as juices, smoothies, and homemade dressings. Hand held blenders can do smaller quantities, quickly. Difficult for fibrous foods such as sweet potatoes.
Moulis – a full size moulis can be good for soft purees, as they also catch food fibers so straining is not necessary. Because it is hand cranked, this is more difficult than using a processor or blender, especially for denser food items such as broccoli, carrots, meats, etc. Higher end moulis come with multiple blades with different sizes to puree and strain a variety of foods.
Baby Food Grinders or Mills – very small, but can be convenient when traveling or for pureeing small quantities of softer foods such as peas, bananas, pastas and beans.