Use your Juicer to make Home Made Baby Foods
Making home made baby food with your juicer can be greatly rewarding
knowing that you are giving your baby fresh produce that is easily digestible
so that they can develop as best they can. Some twin gear model juicers
such as the Green Star juicer
can be used to make baby food. This is achieved by feeding the produce
through the juicer using the 'blank' juicing screen (also used for making
nut butters and sorbets) and removing / greatly loosening the pulp pressure
nozzle so that the produce is 'piped' out of the pulp ejection nozzle.
The basis of this article has been kindly contributed by Baby
Why Is Home Made Baby Food Better Than Shop Bought?
Your baby doesn't need to have any shop bought baby foods. Preparing
your own food using your juicer may take longer but provides your baby
with regular chances to experience a wide variety of textures and tastes
in home made food without artificial preservatives or additives. Making
your own baby food with your juicer is also likely to be cheaper than
bought baby food.
Some babies who have become familiar with ready-prepared baby foods may
not want to try the 'real' thing, and struggle with the new textures and
flavours. It may take a lot of patience to get them to enjoy family meals.
Some types of commercial baby food include ingredients you would not
choose to include in anything you made at home. For example, they often
have a high water content, and this means they need starchy thickeners.
While these may do no harm, they are low in food value, and poor value
for money. Added sugars can be harmful to your baby's teeth.
What am I Trying To Avoid by making my own baby food?
Checking the labels on baby foods can reveal that some are highly sweetened
varieties, with high water and starch content. Thickeners are labelled
as 'maltodextrin', 'vegetable gum', 'gelatine', 'modified starch' and
different types of flour.
When Will My Baby Be Ready For Homemade Baby Foods?
The information below is provided as a rough guide. Babies develop at different
speeds anddon’t be too alarmed if your baby is ready quite yet.
Current Department Of Health recommendations are that most babies can
start to have solid foods (i.e. not milk) between four and six months
The World Health Organization states that the optimum duration for exclusive
breastfeeding in the case of most babies is around six months
- Cereals – 4 to 6 months
- Vegetables – 7 months
- Fruits – 8 months
- Meats – 10 months
- Egg Yolks – 10 months
- Cheese & Yoghurt – 10 to 12 months
How To Make A Puree
The 'pureed / mashed' baby foods that are the first solid types of food
given to a baby can be easily made with your juicer. To start off with
feed cooked vegetables through the juicer with the blank juicing screen.
- start by cooking the vegetable/fruit either by steaming, baking,
micro- waving or boiling.
- steaming maintains the most nutrients. Steaming, baking and boiling
all allow for big batches of foods to be made at one time.
- Apples, pears, peaches, plums, mangoes and strawberries all puree
- if you’d prefer to make a vegetable puree, try potatoes, carrot,
yam, broccoli or squash.
- take the cooked vegetable/fruit and feed them through your juicer
with the blank juicing screen fitted so that the juice is not seperated
from the pulp.
- Feed some of the liquid that the vegetable/fruits were cooked in
through the juicer with the vegetables / fruit.
- adding this liquid helps to preserve any nutrients that may have
leeched into the water during cooking.
- you may use formula or breast milk if you so desire. These liquids
give a little nutritional boost and add a familiar taste for baby.
How Do I Introduce My Baby To Homemade Foods?
- offer small quantities at first, and only one or two new tastes every
- if you're spoon-feeding, a couple of teaspoons at a time may be all
your baby will want at first. S/he may turn their head away at that.
Healthy babies know their own appetites, and forcing the issue only
makes mealtimes a source of frustration and anxiety
- gradually introduce finger foods once your baby has become accustomed
to soft/mashed/pureed foods. Finger foods are foods your baby can pick
up and eat himself, without any help from you.
- some babies never really enjoy solids until they're at this stage,
usually from about six months, depending on when you started weaning
and they seem to prefer managing themselves instead of being spoonfed.
- some babies move through the pureed food stage quickly, particularly
if they have been introduced to solids later (nearer to six months).
- to prepare finger foods cut or slice the foods up into a shape your
baby can hold easily to chew, gnaw or suck at. Suitable finger foods
before six months are:
- cooked vegetables
- slices of eating apple, pear
- sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber
- peas (cooked, as a snack).
How Should I Cook The Foods I Want To Give To My Baby?
The following methods of cooking food are all helpful when preparing
home made food for your baby:-.
- steaming - one of the preferred methods of cooking as nutrient loss
is minimal. Left over water can be used in stock and for pureeing.
- boiling and stewing - leads to loss of nutrients especially water
soluble vitamins B and C and minerals. Left over water can be used in
stock and for pureeing.
- baking - cooking using the dry heat in the oven. It’s an excellent
way to cook large quantities of food. There is a limited loss of nutrients
and the food is easily digestible.
- microwave cooking – good for cooking small quantities of food.
The flavour and nutritional values of vegetables high
- pressure cooking - loss of nutrients are less in this method since
only a little water is used.