Super foods are everyday foods that are rich in all the nutrients and antioxidants to support a healthy body. Examples of super foods for babies include blueberries, organic yogurt, prunes, avocadoes, bananas, broccoli, kale and sweet potatoes. Because there is already so little that babies consume each day, it is important for them to take in food that will best nourish them.
With no lack of commercial super foods processed, stored and sold in jars in supermarkets, many mums dismiss the thought of preparing homemade ones. But such commercial super foods contain either additional preservatives, or heated to a temperature to ensure that it does not contaminate before exceeding its intended shelf life of about two years. By doing so, all nutrients are already gone.
On the flipside, homemade super foods are baked, steamed, cooked, or blended to ensure that all nutrients stay intact. Mums are also free to introduce or mix new flavours to keep up with a baby’s unique likes.
Besides, making homemade super foods does not necessarily have to be a laborious process that leaves mums depleted at the end of the day. And that many baby super foods recipes are rather simple and straightforward, with little room for errors even if you are not a natural in the kitchen. The following are some secret tips that will make you closer to becoming that super mum you have always aspired to become:
You do not have to make everything from scratch
Homemade avocado puree makes for a great super food meal. But if you are time-pressed, pour a dash of wheat germ into natural rice cereals that are available in shops to come up with a simple yet nutritious meal just under a minute.
Prepare and store a week’s worth of super foods
Your parents might grimace at the thought of chilling your baby’s food for up to weeks before he or she actually consumes it, but preparing and storing meals in ice trays in bulk is time-effective and convenient. Instead of preparing meals on a daily basis, you will only need to prepare your baby’s food once or twice a week.
If the puree is freezed and thawed properly, then food contamination should not be a concern. This involves immediately placing the filled ice trays into the freezer to prevent bacterial growth. Ice trays must be sealed with plastic wrappers meant for freezing. After which, frozen puree cubes must be placed in freezer bags for storage. It is also important to remove pockets of air in the freezer bags.
To thaw, place the frozen puree in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, place it in a warm bath and replace water as needed. If upon defrosting the food, the texture of the food is too thick, you can add breast milk or formula milk to it. And if it is too runny, consider adding cereal, yogurt or mashed bananas to thicken it.
Equip yourself with the right tools
Getting the job done with maximum ease requires to you equip yourself with the right kitchen tools. These tools include:
- Food processor or blender: This is an essential tool if you are serious about preparing homemade baby meals regularly. With a food processor or blender, you can achieve puree of your desired consistency easily.
- Steamer: Steam broccoli, potatoes and cauliflower before you place them in a food processor. Steaming these vegetables retains nutrients better than boiling them.
- Ice cube trays: Store your homemade baby meals in ice cube trays sealed with plastic wrap and allow them to freeze in the freezer. Transfer these cubes to a freezer bag to inform you of when it is prepared and by when it should be tossed out.
- Food mill or grinder: This allows you to prepare food without having to first remove its skin or seeds. The food mill will filter out the skin and seeds, leaving you the food mash.
- Immersion blender: This hand-held blender has few washable parts and does a great job pureeing. Many mums swear by it!
- Grater: If your baby is older and you would like to add chunkier bits to your meals, considering grating cheese, apples or carrots.