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September 3, 2013

Making baby food quick, beneficial

Taking care of an infant is a lot of work. I will always remember how shockingly time-consuming it is to just feed, burp and change a newborn. 

Though all new moms and dads are in a time crunch, I think parents should consider making at least some of their baby’s food. There are many benefits in doing so, and most baby-food preparation takes very little time.

An important first step in introducing solids to your infant is a discussion with your child’s pediatrician. They would be up-to-date on the latest recommendations and be familiar with your child and their development. Most pediatricians will recommend that a child begins eating solids around 6 months old, when they have good head control and can sit supported.

The way you begin serving solids — what foods, preparation methods and how often — can vary a lot. Some infants are more advanced with their fine-motor skills and will be ready to self-feed at an early age, while others are content to let you work the spoon. Other infants will be sensitive to texture and need to start with smooth purees. Do what works for you and your infant. 

Making baby food is not necessary, as there are so many baby-food products on the market. Many foods, such as bananas, are easy and inexpensive to prepare. Besides saving money, another benefit of making baby food is that there is a wider variety of texture and flavor for your infant. Exposing babies to many foods, flavors and textures is ideal, since table food (adult food) also has a variety of those elements. You can choose between fresh or frozen foods, conventional or organic.

Before preparing any foods, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands, and clean all utensils and surfaces. Infants are at an increased risk for food-borne illness, and complications from illness are much more serious for infants and young children. This should not deter you though; just use common sense. 

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