Diversify your baby's food palate

By Julie van Rosendaal on April 23, 2013
It’s exciting when your child starts eating solid foods; that first foray into real meals opens up a world of culinary possibilities. Most babies begin with single, simple foods – introduced one at a time – to clearly identify any negative reactions.

Making your own baby food is easier than some books make it out to be; it’s a matter of preparing simple foods in a way your baby can manage, such as smooth purees or small, soft chunks he or she can easily grab.

Following those fi rst tastes, babies with teeth will want to chew; any parent of a teething baby knows they’ll gnaw anything they can get their mouths on. Provide relief from teething pain with homemade teething biscuits made with whole ingredients and free of sugar, additives and preservatives. Once hard, they’ll keep well in a container on the countertop, within easy reach when Junior needs something wholesome to chomp on. (Note: as with any beginner foods, ensure you’re within reach and keep an eye on your child – no biscuit is resistant to crumbling or breaking.)

Banana-oat teething biscuits

Baby biscotti
Barley banana bread
Cheesy polenta sticks

Purée primer

Start with good-quality fresh or frozen produce.

  • For vegetables, try sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, peas, spinach or whatever is in season.
  • Steam veggies in a bit of water until very soft, then purée until smooth with the cooking liquid, adjusting the thickness according to your baby’s taste. 
  • To make applesauce, peel and chop apples, then simmer in about an inch of water until soft; mash or purée with the cooking liquid. 
  • Very ripe, juicy pears can be mashed until chunky with a fork, grated with a box grater or pulsed in the food processor until smooth. 
  • Ripe, juicy peaches or mango can be peeled, pitted and cubed, then puréed with a little hot water or juice. 
  • Freeze purées in small containers or ice cube trays, or drop by the spoonful onto dollops on waxed paper and freeze, then transfer to freezer bags to store.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, May/June 2013.

By Julie van Rosendaal| April 23, 2013

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