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Baby Nutrition: Tips to make delicious baby food at home

Nutrition & Food / Sep 08, 2022 / Vetted by BabyG Team
excited about making baby food at home

While exclusive breastfeeding takes care of the baby’s growth during the first six months, introducing supplementary foods thereafter becomes essential for normal growth. Babies cannot directly progress from breastmilk to adult foods. Modified family foods should be given until the baby is about one year old and ready to eat adult foods. This period of dietary transition is called the weaning period. Offering simple home-cooked meals with different textures and flavours during this period encourages your baby’s chewing and biting skills and familiarises him/her with family foods. 

Here are a few delicious tips on how to make baby food:

How to make baby food at home? 

Baby nutrition is an integral one to learn. Making baby food at home is an important skill to have once you plan to wean your infant off breastmilk. While the diet of your baby undergoes a radical change after six months, it is challenging for mothers to introduce cooked food that has a good aroma, flavour, texture, and appearance that babies would find appealing. 

Follow these tips while you cook delicious baby food at home from readily available ingredients:

  • You may prepare purees of vegetables such as carrots and fruits like bananas that are easy to suck.
  • Maintain consistency thick enough to stay on the spoon but can be fed easily. Use breast milk or formula milk to soften the food.
  • Cook a mixture of cereals and pulses and mash it.
  • You may enrich the food by making a porridge of fermented, germinated, sprouted flour and toast the grains before you grind them. 
  • Your baby’s stomach is small; cook energy-dense foods by adding jaggery, ghee, butter or oil, so that even a little portion is packed with energy.
  • Also, encourage finger foods such as cheese cubes or toast after nine months.
  • At around 10 months, introduce soft, lumpy, granular foods that cover most of the tastes. Mix a new food item with a familiar one while introducing coarser food to encourage acceptance of new food.
  • Minced and thoroughly cooked meat has a suitable nutritional value.

You can introduce family foods from 12 to 24 months when the jaw and chewing movements gain strength. You may give roti softened by soaking it in dal or vegetable. Add pulses or vegetables to rice to modify your family foods.

What types of nutritious foods can I cook for my baby?

You may cook complimentary food rich in protein, energy, and micronutrients. For a baby 6 to 12 months or older, you may cook the following:
  • The first food you cook for your baby could be a porridge made from suji, broken wheat or wheat flour, or ragi.
  • You may mash chikkoo, banana, mango, or papaya.
  • You may give yoghurt or cheese from the age of nine months.
  • Use locally available cereals such as rice or wheat, millets such as bajra, ragi, and pulses such as moong, arhar, or channa. Roast them separately and grind. Add til (sesame) or groundnut powder to prepare a mix. Store in an airtight container for future use. These cereal mixes can be reconstituted into a porridge with hot water/breast milk or formula milk. Also, jaggery and ghee can be added while feeding the baby.
  • You may soak half a chapati in breastmilk or boiled water and add jaggery and fat to it before feeding.
  • Once well suited to porridge, you may introduce traditional foods such as upma, idli, khichadi, daliya, or dhokla. You may add mashed vegetables to rice or mash the idli.

The current guidelines suggest the use of gluten-free cereals for babies less than six months old. Gluten is a protein naturally present in some cereals such as wheat, oats, semolina, modified starches, or rye. In some babies, it may cause intestinal inflammation causing diarrhoea, bloating, or constipation. 

How do I store home-cooked food?

It is best to give your baby freshly cooked food at a temperature well tolerated by your baby. Do not store cooked food. If it is not possible to give freshly cooked food each time, you may store food below 10°C or above 60°C for the next meal. Reheat the cooled food properly before feeding. Use clean hands and containers while you cook and store the food.

Remember to cook small meals that are energy and micronutrient-rich baby food at home. Identify staple, clean homemade food for your baby's nutrition. You can also prepare and store dry mixes like sattu or a cereal-pulse mixture (in a ratio of 2:1) that can be reconstituted with water or milk when you want to use them. Keep the mixes in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. Do not give any readymade processed or junk food, as it may contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and preservatives. Talk to your paediatrician or nutritionist for the best feeding tips.



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