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Making Baby Food

Making your own baby food can be an easy and rewarding way to give your baby the best nutrition possible. Here are some tips straight from our kitchen:

1. Pick 2-4 foods to start with, and focus on. Try apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes. Vegetables to try include asparagus tips, avocados, carrots, peas, potatoes, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.

2. Pick a tool to blend the food. Options include a food mill, blender, food processor, a hand blender, a baby food blender, or even just a fork.

3. Buy some storage containers. If you are planning to freeze your baby food, try an ice cube tray or airtight container. For refrigerator storage, we recommend individual storage containers to maximize freshness.

4. Buy a few containers from the store. This will give you an idea for the consistency that babies require from their first baby food. Step 1 foods are almost the consistency of a smoothie.

5. Pick a technique for cooking the food. Methods include baking, steaming, roasting, boiling, simmering, or microwaving.

6. Store your baby food without any water or milk mixed in. Add any liquid after thawing or warming your food to get the right consistency.

7. Taste all foods before giving them to baby. Make sure the food has maintained its freshness, and remember, if you wouldn''t eat it, you baby probably won''t either.

8. Go slow. Try one food at a time with your baby and see how they like it. Babies like the sweetness of fruits and sweeter veggies like sweet potatoes, so trying one of these first may be a good option. Others may surprise you and dig into green beans, peas, or other veggies.

9. Try mixing. After you have introduced the foods individually, try mixing them together to add variety to your baby''s meals. Also, adding single-grain cereal or oatmeal to your baby''s fruit can add nutrition and vitamins.

10. Prepare for a mess. No matter how hard you try, babies will make a mess while eating. Be prepared with bibs, napkins, a damp washcloth, and a floor cover. Don''t forget to have fun and take pictures of this new experience in your baby''s development!