How to make your own baby food

It’s best to wait to introduce solid foods to your baby until 4 to 6 months of age. Until then, breast milk or formula provides the ideal nourishment

Start with easily digested cereals, such as rice, barley, or oatmeal; applesauce; or pears. Introduce one new food every 5 to 7 days so that you can more easily identify the source of any adverse reaction. Signs of adverse reaction are vomiting, cramping, excessive gas, diarrhea, or rashes.

Introduce yellow vegetables such as carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes before green vegetables. The best meats to start with are lamb and veal.

Foods that should be delayed till after 1 year of age include all whole wheat products, fish, smoked meats, all highly seasoned food, egg whites, and honey. Do not add salt or sugar to home-prepared baby food.

Some easily prepared baby foods include mashed ripe bananas, mashed yolk from a hard-cooked egg (start with a teaspoonful), thin oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, fruit sauces, and meat or vegetable puree.

To make a meat puree, grind cubes of well-cooked poultry, beef, or lamb with enough cooking liquid or milk to make it the consistency of applesauce. For a vegetable puree, grind a little freshly cooked vegetables with enough liquid to make a soft puree.

Purees can be frozen in individual portions for later use or refrigerated. Use refrigerated meat purees within 24 hours, vegetable purees within 2 days and fruit purees within 3 days.