By the time a baby is six months old, he or she is ready is ready to be introduced to the solid foods. While most parents prefer homemade to the ready-made baby foods, storing the food can at times be a problem. For all those parents who have a lot of queries, here is a complete guide touching upon important points that one should know about baby foods including the choice of foods and their storage.
Baby foods: What to Include and what to avoid?
-The baby foods, be it fruits, vegetables, or cereals, are usually served in cooked, boiled, mashed or puree form to ensure better digestion.
-Make sure the fruits, vegetables, or cereals, are washed and cooked well.
-Mango, apple, plums, prunes, banana, avocados, summer/winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots (well cooked), white fish, salmon, chicken, yogurt, brown rice, are a powerhouse of nutrition. Laden with Vitamins, Minerals, Calcium, Proteins, Antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, these superfoods are healthy food options for the baby.
-However, foods such as shellfish, peanuts and peanut butter, milk, walnuts, Brazil Nuts, soy, wheat may trigger allergic reactions in the baby (especially those with a family history) and should not be given to the baby before they are at least a year old. Eggs, though a healthy food choice can also trigger allergic reactions.
-Vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, beet are known to contain high levels of nitrates and are best left avoided for babies below one-year of age.
-Fish that contain high levels of mercury (King Mackerel, tuna, shark) can affect the nerves and brain development in babies and should also be avoided.
-The other foods that should be avoided until a baby is a year old (or more) include dark chocolates, berries, citrus fruits, grapes, seeds, popcorn, to name a few.
Storing Baby foods
-In most of the cases, baby foods, especially in puree form can be stored in the freezer or the refrigerator.
-For maximum benefits, it is best to store foods (fruits or vegetables) for not more than 2 days in the refrigerator.
-Foods that contain egg yolk or meat should not be stored for more than a day in the refrigerator.
-The same foods (fruits, vegetables, meat or egg yolk) can be safely stored for months (1-3 months) in the freezer, making it a better option for storing of baby foods.
-However, it is still advisable to use the foods within a month.
-In the case of using ice cube trays for storing the baby food, some safety measures have to be taken care of.
-Always choose a glass ice cube tray over the plastic one.
-In the case of a plastic tray, make sure it is BPA (Bisphenol A)-free.
-BPA is a synthetic organic compound that can interfere with the brain development with deleterious consequences.
-You can also store the foods in the freezer bags that are available in the market.
-It is always a better option to label the freezer bags with the date and the name of the food item stored.
-While storing the food, regulate the temperature of the freezer to 0° Fahrenheit (for better efficiency).
-Make sure it does not exceed 5° F.
-Keep ice packs (lots) handy so that during a power failure, these ice packs can be used to balance the temperature of the freezer.
We hope you enjoyed reading our article. Thank you for your continued love, support and trust in Tinystep. If you are new here, welcome to Tinystep!
Recently, we launched a baby-safe, natural and toxin-free floor cleaner. Recommended by moms and doctors all over India, this floor-cleaner liquid gets rid of germs and stains without adding harmful toxins to the floor. Click here to buy it and let us know if you liked it.
Stay tuned for our future product launches - we plan to launch a range of homecare products that will keep your little explorer healthy, safe and happy!