Safety Tips for Prepared Meals and Side Dishes for Babies
Whether you're preparing a full meal for your own family or are buying prepared meals, you'll want to keep a few basic safety tips in mind. You'll want to avoid foods that can be choking hazards and repurpose leftovers. And, as always, you'll want to avoid corn syrup and honey. If you're wondering what you can eat with baby in tow, check out our list of baby food staples!
Make your own baby food
The benefits of making your own baby food are many. Whether it is your first child or your third, you can customize the food for your baby and save money as well. Organic vegetables, for example, are cheaper than non-organic ones, and they retain most of their nutrients in the freezing process. Fresh vegetables, on the other hand, require more cooking, but contain more nutrients. In addition, you can also blend fruits and vegetables together to make purees for your baby.
Homemade baby food will expose your baby to a wider variety of foods and can help them become accustomed to eating foods similar to your family. Additionally, it will save you money, which can go into your baby's college fund. And it will save you time and space. And, you'll save money by not having to buy jarred food every day. You can also make more food at one time and freeze leftovers for up to three days.
Another benefit of homemade baby food is that it is much healthier than store-bought foods. Because it's made with fresh ingredients, you can tailor the food to your baby's nutritional needs. For example, if your child is deficient in iron, you can add spinach or beef to his or her diet. If he or she has a bowel movement disorder, consider using a puree with a "P" to ease constipation.
While purees may seem intimidating, they're very easy to prepare. Usually, it only takes about ten to fifteen minutes to make. Baby food that is prepared at home can be frozen and reheated as needed. Ultimately, feeding your baby with real foods is the healthiest and most nutritious option. So, get started today and enjoy the benefits of homemade baby food. And, remember, the benefits of feeding your baby real, organic foods can't be overstated.
Avoid foods that can cause choking
Small, sticky, or hard foods can be difficult for a young child to eat and swallow. When feeding your child, make sure he is sitting up, not in the car or stroller. Keep distractions at a minimum and always be on the lookout for signs of choking. If you suspect that your child may be having a choking episode, talk to your doctor.
Keep the portion size small. Avoid giving your child a large serving at a time and do not rush him or her through a meal. Hot dogs, whole grapes, popcorn, and other stringy foods are not safe for babies. Hot dogs and celery should be sliced lengthwise. Commercially prepared white breads, such as sandwich buns, should be avoided as they may form a pasty glob in your baby's mouth. Cut meat and poultry into fingertip-sized pieces.
You can also try adapted versions of the same foods. Some of these are softer and eatable pieces. Ripe bananas, well-cooked pasta, and small pieces of chicken are safe choices. Some dry cereals and crackers also melt in the mouth. Make sure you have a safe and sanitary container to keep the food from getting into your baby's mouth.
Make sure that the food is soft enough to be mashed between the thumb and index finger. Foods that are too hard or squishy will break in a baby's mouth. While cooking, try to use a food mill or a blender for your baby's food. Also, use separate cutting boards and sanitary procedures when preparing the food for your baby.
Many people throw out their leftovers because they think they're boring, but this can actually create an endless supply of delicious dishes! By following these simple steps, you can create numerous nutritious meals for your little one. Plus, you can save hundreds of dollars each year! So what's stopping you? Here are some ideas to get you started:
First, if you have food left over after one meal, you can reheat it the next day to create another delicious meal. For instance, Indian food makes great second meals because the sauces and curries allow the meat and vegetables to absorb the extra sitting time. This way, you can serve leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can even freeze the leftovers and eat them for dinner the next day!
Avoid foods that contain honey and corn syrup
Honey is a natural sweetener that can be dangerous to babies. This sweetener contains spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which is harmless to adults but can cause infant botulism in babies. Signs and symptoms of this illness include constipation, lethargy, poor appetite, pneumonia, and dehydration.
While it is safe to feed a newborn or infant up to twelve months, babies younger than that should avoid honey. Honey contains pollen allergens, which can be harmful to children's developing digestive systems. Therefore, the World Health Organization and American Academy of Paediatrics recommend that parents should avoid adding honey to their child's food or formula. Even baked products containing honey should not be served to babies younger than twelve months.
Cooked grain products should be mashed, pureed, or chopped. Unmashed grain kernels can choke a baby. Avoid foods with honey or corn syrup, especially when they are accompanied by high amounts of fat. Remember that baby's taste buds are different than adults, and so they might not like some foods the same way as you do. When pureeing a food, always check to ensure that the consistency is smooth. If it is not, add some fluid to bring it closer to the right consistency.
Beets and corn syrup are high in botulism spores. The bacteria can be harmful to babies if consumed in high amounts. Luckily, they don't usually cause symptoms in adults. But babies are particularly vulnerable because of their immature immune systems. Consequently, parents should avoid foods containing honey and corn syrup. If you are unsure about which foods to avoid, consult with your paediatrician.
Avoid foods that contain GMOs
The FDA regulates all food and ingredient products derived from genetically modified animals and plants, but the effects of these food additives are not fully understood. In addition to their lack of transparency, these products are often resistant to herbicides. Because of this, you may find them in your baby's food, or they might be present in your own food. For this reason, it is best to purchase organic and non-GMO foods whenever possible.
While GMOs are not harmful, they aren't a healthy choice for your baby's diet. They are cheap imitations of natural foods. The process used to create these food additives involves introducing unnatural combinations of genes that don't naturally occur outside of labs. These foods are categorized into those with high risks in commercial production, as well as those that have been closely monitored due to suspected contamination.
Corn and soy are the most common GMO crops in the United States. Many processed foods are made from these crops, including cereals, meat substitutes, and tortilla chips. They may also be used in seasoning mixes, as well as soft-drink ingredients. Many of these products are made from GMO corn, as are some of the ingredients used in artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and glucose. You can avoid these products by looking for ones with natural ingredients, like cane sugar and riboflavin.
Consumer awareness about the risks of GMOs is growing. Many consumers contact companies directly to find out what ingredients are in their food. This means that the Non-GMO Project has developed a free iPhone app that allows you to search for non-GMO foods and directs you to a form to request non-GMO food. Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, has called for mandatory labeling of GMO foods.