By Nancy Gottesman
Why make baby food when there are so many good commercial brands available? Homemade produces less waste (by the time a baby is 12 months old, he has emptied 600 jars of baby food on average), costs less, contains no chemicals or additives and is fresher. Besides, it’s simple:
1. Steam any peeled fruit or vegetable until it’s soft enough to be mashed with a fork (6 to 10 minutes).
2. Add breast milk or a little water and puree in a blender until smooth. As for veggie safety, the official AAP guideline is “Home-prepared infant foods from vegetables (e.g., spinach, beets, green beans, squash, carrots) should be avoided until infants are 3 months old or older.” So, at 4 months old, your baby can enjoy any type of veggie. At 11 to 12 months old, your baby can handle slightly thicker foods, like chicken, beef, pork or fish that’s thoroughly cooked and pureed with breast milk or water. When away from home, carry a manual food mill (available at baby- or household-goods stores) and turn your meals into mushy, baby-friendly ones in seconds. (For more helpful gadgets, see “Solid Feeding Finds,” below.)
Solid Feeding Finds
a bare bowl
Made from all-natural wood, Munchkin’s Wood 2-Piece Feeding Set is free of chemicals found in some types of plastic, so you can feed your baby without worries. $12 at amazon.com
The Beaba Babycook’s blending, defrosting, reheating and steaming features will make preparing your baby’s food almost effortless. $150 at williams-sonoma.com.
When your little one is ready to graduate from a bottle, the BPA- (bisphenol-A), phthalate- and PVC-free Born Free Trainer Cup is ready with a low-vacuum valve for free-flowing liquid. $10 at amazon.com.
catch me if you can
With Benders Adaptable Utensils you can adjust your tot’s fork and spoon to the perfect angle, whether you’re feeding him or he’s developing his own hand-to-mouth skills. $6 at bedbathandbeyond.com.