30 comments

Baby Food Tips, Tricks & Myths

Canadian Deals & Coupons, Tips & Tricks

baby-eating

Lately I feel like I’m being bombarded with ads for the Baby Bullet. So I thought I’d  bust some myths and share some of my tips and tricks for making homemade baby food.

  • You don’t need the Magic/Baby Bullet. While my friends who use it say it does the job but it isn’t as necessary as manufacturer would like you to believe. The commercial over exaggerates the tools and work required. I started off with just a potato masher and upgraded to a cheap blender from the Goodwill.
  • Start as soon as possible. My suggestion is to do your fruit and veggies while you’re pregnant because they can be frozen 6-8 months. Meats (including poultry and fish) can be frozen for 10 weeks and purees made with milk 4-6 weeks. Baby food in the fridge regardless of the type only lasts 2-3 days.
  • You don’t need to start with cereal. Studies have shown that starting your baby on meats or legumes is just fine. The key is to make sure they are getting iron which can be found in both. My sons love bean puree and flaked tuna.
  • Don’t give your baby vegetables that contain nitrates before 6 months. That includes spinach, cabbage, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rhubarb, radishes and to a lesser degree squash and carrots. Discard the cooking water and use purees containing these veggies as soon as possible (especially spinach).
  • Your baby does not need juice …ever. While it is true their tummies can tolerate it at 6 months the acid and sugar will wear away their tiny teeth. Even if they don’t have teeth poked through yet decay can start while they are in their gums. Some may argue juice is a good cure for a constipated baby but water, stewed prunes, and bean puree work the same. All of the vitamins and health benefits can be found in the purees or fresh fruit as the case maybe.
  • Don’t give up. Your baby is used getting all their nutrition it liquid form with only one flavour and texture. It will take them some getting used to. In fact it can take up to 10 tries for a baby to decide if they like a food. If you’re still faced with a picky eater be creative, think with all five senses. Tastes isn’t the only factor. My first son wouldn’t eat anything runny (aside from his bottle), so I would thicken up his purees with bean paste. Plus that added protein and iron.

Always make sure to consult your baby’s doctor before introducing anything new to your baby’s diet. For more tips on preparing specific fruits, veggies and other foods consult a dietician, doctor or other moms.

30 comments

  1. Virginia

    And even better than making your own baby food, don’t make any at all! Children don’t actually need purees (if they have to have it pureed they are not actually ready for solid food) Just wait till they can sit up and their own and start offering various solid foods.. Chunks of watermelon, stripes of red pepper, slices of fruit, well cooked meat chunks etc. And if you just let them feed themselves it makes your world so much easier! Just feed them anything you are eating. :) Your child has a higher chance of enjoying solid food, they get to decide how much to eat and when to stop it’s fabulous! Check out a few of these links.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby-led_weaning
    http://www.babyledweaning.com/

    Reply
  2. irishmars

    Skip purees and not feed your baby with a spoon! Check out “baby led weaning”:

    http://networkedblogs.com/gl7FN

    Baby Led Weaning means offering your baby (age appropriate) foods that are soft-cooked and cut or mashed into small easily manageable pieces. You may choose to offer your baby a large hunk of apple that she can easily hold and gnaw on or a bowl full of soft cooked mashed apples; the choice is yours. The foods are then given to your baby to eat without being pureed and without being spoonfed. You do the cooking, the dicing or mashing and the offering of the foods and your baby does the rest. It is important to note that your baby should be in control of what he is eating and you should never actually feed him by putting the foods into his mouth!

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  3. Cheryl888

    While I think a post like this is great, it seems pretty biased to me, and some of the information is based on preference, not medical research. Ive heard pros and cons about many of the things posted here (regarding eating habits), so I think its a little strange to post it on here, advising people on feeding babies.

    I could get into the tuna debate, or the misinformation about certain foods, but I wont. I just think it would be nice to see a little disclaimer here.

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  4. RegulusLeonis

    I’m on board with Baby Led Solids, it’s actually been really wonderful. My DS feeds himself, I just have to clean him up after! He has eaten banana, celery, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe, cooked egg yolk, cheese, yogurt (I help him put it on the spoon, then he feeds it to himself, he won’t let me feed it to him LOL) avocado, and as a treat a Baby Mum Mum or some Cheerios. You gotta consider humans 30000 years ago … did they puree food for their younguns? Baby gets all needed nutrition from breast milk or formula. There is a debate on the amount of iron babies actually need, as well. I think if you’re going to do purees this post is full of great information about them, but Baby Led Solids is worth some research, as well :)

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  5. Chad

    I dont think you need to be so rude Cheryl, she said consult your dr before making any changes.

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  6. Anon

    Just wondering where the information came from? shouldn’t a book or something be sited for references? Otherwise, its unclear if the information is valid or made up. something simple like the sites posted for the baby led weaning.

    We made all our own food for our kids, and used a book for reference. Super Baby Food. Its sooo much easier than you think.

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  7. wifegriz

    While you do not need to start baby on cereal, please do NOT start with meats. A baby’s gut is not able to digest this until around the year mark.

    Another great web site for homemade baby food is

    wholesomebabyfood.com (no “s” on the end of food)

    Reply
  8. Peppermint Patty

    Why is someone on a grocery blog giving advice on when to start your baby on certain foods? Stick to reviewing the product and let the parent and pediatrician decide when and what’s best for their baby.

    As for the “disclamer” sharing tips and tricks on preparation is one thing but telling someone “You don’t need to start with cereal. Studies have shown that starting your baby on meats or legumes is just fine”: please site these studies.

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  9. marta

    While I find it hard to believe, a Toronto Public Health nurse just told me a few weeks ago that babies are now supposed to start on cereals AND meats. Apparently babies need more iron than the fortified cereals provide. I will be starting my baby on solids soon but I’m not sure I will introduce meats as early as 6 months.

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  10. jubsies

    wow.. some ppl are nasty.. I agree wiht OP.. you don’t need a baby bullett, HOWEVER I have one… I have been making my triplets food since they were 4 months old .. their favorite is pumpkin and squash..

    As for ppl saying just give the food well cooked and let them feed themselfs.. every baby is different… my boy (2nd born of triplets) is well on his way.. he eats anything BY HIMSELF… BUT my girl HATE texture.. any little texture and they choke / gag… I think its better to let your child teach you… I have 2 older boys as well and I always let my children guide me… they know when they are ready we have to help them…. THAT’S MY OPINION….

    BUT you do not need the baby bullet IN FACT…. mine is overheating now and I only had it for a few months… SUPPOSEDLY canadian tire is recalling the product too.. too many ppl putting things in the machine and getting injured.. OMG.. LOLOLOL

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  11. tthomp47

    Thank you Supermommy for the post. I too think that the Baby Bullet is a ridiculous waste of money!
    For my first, I did pretty much the same thing as you – but with a $14.99 knockoff magic bullet. It worked great!
    Now, pregnant with my second and with all of my family knowing that i like to make my own baby foods, everyone is telling me to get the baby bullet! There is no way I need such a thing. They say “but it comes with the perfect size containers” I used Ice cube trays with lids from the dollar store and also had a few packs of baby cubes which worked great!
    Thanks again for your tips!

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  12. Dotty dot dot

    As a home cook, I agree that the baby bullet looks useless (why not just a blender?). But I’m curious about how you store the food afterwards? Did you buy little mini-jars (if so, from where)or small plastic containers for the freezer?

    Thanks!

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  13. Chad

    They are correct about the meats, in fact for my second child the guidelines provided by the health unit said to start on meat first, not cereal.

    With my first child it said cereal.

    Things change, ease up on the blogger.

    Reply
  14. Charro

    I’m not going to advise when & what to feed your baby as it seems guidelines are always changing but as a mom of 4 non-picky eaters my favorite tool to use was a baby food mill. It’s a bring to the table, portable food grinder that you use by hand. I would grind the meals that I was serving the rest of the family (no salt or fat added) and when baby was old enough to chew food there were no issues in adjusting to our family meals as the taste was what they were already used to- unlike store bought baby food. I like the idea of the baby bullet as it reminds parents that you do not NEED to buy baby food- some parents don’t know that!!!

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  15. Cheryl888

    I wasnt being rude – CHAD. I was serious in what I said. Unless this person is some type of paediatric dietician, I dont think its appropriate to be telling people what is, or isnt okay to feed a baby. The comments regarding nitrates, and tuna are very invalid. Reading something like this could really freak out a first time parent, which is unecessary.
    I made a lot of my own baby food for my son, using a hand blender. So while I think the baby bullet is silly also, I dont see why this blog had to devulge into feeding specifics for babies.
    However, if the baby bullet encourages more parents to make their own baby food I think the $50 is well spent.

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  16. tthomp47

    Dotty dot dot – once youve prepared the meal (or puree) you can freeze it in individual servings. I’ve used an ice cube tray – Dollarama has ones with lids – so i liked that idea better. That way they’re in 1oz servings and you can pop one or two out into a bowl – nuke it & you’re ready.
    I’ve also got these neat little things called baby cubes. They were from babies r us-but I’m sure other places carry them. They are individual little containers with flip-lids that can be frozen & nuked in the micro. They come in 8-packs and a tray to store them in in the freezer that you can also write (with wipeable marker) what the contents are & the date. These ones I preferred for snacks that way I could throw one in a ziploc and bring it along with me for the day.

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  17. Corbinx

    I do have the baby bullet, simply because I got it on sale and my blender and mini food processor didn’t work that wonderful for making food for baby #1. I find it works okay as long as there is enough fluid in it- I overheated it the first time I tried it. I do like all the storage containers, spatula, etc. that came with it and you can still use it to make smoothies and such. I used my slow cooker to make chicken and beef, boiled/steamed kidney beans, squash, sweet potato, pumpkin, peas, carrots, potato, brown rice, green beans, etc and mash up bananas and avocado (I spent a day making baby food with a friend, froze it in trays, and transferred to labeled ziploc bags). I do buy baby food still but it’s for things that are expensive or more difficult to make, and for convenience if we are out and about…unsweetened applesauce, cereal, pears, peaches, etc. I follow the handout from my health centre on what to feed baby and when. I wouldn’t give my baby hard foods yet since I saw several of my friends babies choking on carrots and celery and don’t feel comfortable with it personally.

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  18. Dotty dot dot

    tthomp47 – thanks for your feedback!

    One question, though: how do you reheat without a microwave? I personally don’t like them (I don’t even own one). If you pop the serving out, can these things be reheated in a pan?

    I like the idea of a ice tray with lid; I’m going to look for those. Thanks!

    Reply
  19. tthomp47

    For sure they can be put in a pan/pot for reheating. Just pop out a few “ice cubes” of food and right into the pan. Or for the baby cubes, you could run them under hot water because each individual one has it’s own lid!

    Reply
  20. Sally

    She hasn’t stated anything that wasn’t recommended by my particular health unit and clearly stated to talk to your dr.

    When I had Zachery they said meat first like chicken broth and beef broth.

    Patty, this is an off topic and I think she did a great job.

    Ease up on my new blogger please.

    Reply
  21. Cigale

    Hey Dotty Dot Dot: reheat in a pot over a pot of near boiling water and look for one of those old-fashion bowls that you plug-in for feeding or, even better, one of those in which you place warm water. I enjoyed the microwave for reheating, but understand your concern.

    When I made my own baby food everyone asked me why I bothered. those little jars can be expensive! Soooo… Now that there is a cute blender on the market everyone expects mommy to make babyfood?

    Can’t we just use our gut-instincts and decide for ourselves? We are trying to do the best job that we can.

    Here is a tip for new mommies: only take advice from mommies that have children 5 years (or less) older then your own and only occasionally from those who have full grown children.

    Reply
  22. Heather

    I miss those days of making baby food and feeding my daughter!
    It really is simple though!
    My daughters fave was steamed apples/pears with cinnamon and raisins, blended of course.
    I also recommend researching any advice that you read. This doesn’t mean google it, research books with credentials! It doesn’t mean what you are reading is wrong, but when it comes to your childs health you want to be 100% sure!

    Reply
  23. spiritedside

    I used the magic bullet for my little one even before the baby bullet came out lol! It worked great and I just used little BPA free containers to freeze the extras…

    Reply
  24. MonkeyGirl

    I just mashed food with a potato masher or fork with my first two (which was years and years prior to the existence of the baby bullet…. Man, am I old!!!!) and now with our third we practicing baby led weaning and are offering no puree’s. I was a little taken back by the idea at first, but it’s been working really well for us. (There’s an excellent book on baby led weaning by gill Rapley for anyone interested).

    In terms of giving babies meats, the CDC says it’s fine to give babies as young as 6 months meat http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/vitamins/iron.html . The AAP also states in their publication the “Pediatric Nutrition Handbook’ that meats are fine at as young as 6 months. Here’s a study supporting feeding meat to babies at 6 months as a means to prevent anemia: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15586685 . Another study: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/168/1/59.full . The Canadian Pediatric Society also states babies as young as 6 months should get high iron foods including Meat http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/pregnancybabies/Feeding.htm I could go on and on.

    Then in reference to the Baby Bullet, there was a recall scare at Canadian Tire not to long ago. I know someone who works there and apparently there was a complaint that a baby got ill following eating food prepared in one of them. The bullets were temporarily recalled and but were quickly OK’d when they came to the conclusion that the reason the baby became ill was because the machine was not properly cleaned prior to first use. So Canadian tire was sent stickers to put on the packages to remind parents to clean the unit prior to preparing food or so I’ve been told….. They’re cute none the less.

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  25. MonkeyGirl

    Just re-read my comment and would like to apologize for the many spelling and grammatical errors! It seems as though sleep deprivation isn’t agreeing with me!

    Reply
  26. Lauren

    I agree with a couple of earlier comments, the biggest myth is the NEED for bought cereals, the NEED for iron as soon as they turn six months and the NEED for purees, none of them are needed the way we’ve been lead to believe in North America. The wholesomebabyfood.com is fantastic in giving great information. I agree though, that dispelling the myth that you have to BUY the baby food already made is a good thing!

    Reply

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