Making homemade baby food is really a very simple process and requires very little in terms of kitchen equipment. Additionally, the benefits of preparing food for your baby at home using organic produce are clear. It has been shown that children fed organic foods have one sixth the level of pesticide by-products versus children who eat conventional foods. Add to this the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what your baby is eating and the extra effort in preparing homemade baby food seems minimal indeed.
There really are only four items that are needed to prepare and store homemade baby food, namely a good food mill, a steamer, air-tight storage containers, and a microwave oven.
Baby Food Mill
A food mill is a food preparation utensil for mashing soft foods, and a baby food mill is really the only absolutely essential piece of equipment required for making homemade baby food. This can be either a manual device or an electric device.
The hand-operated mills typically have a hand-operated crank and a strainer for separating seeds and skins from the puree for a smooth end product. In reality the manual mills don't make food really smooth, although they can do a great job of quickly mashing foods provided they are cooked well to begin with. Additionally, the separation of skins from the puree isn't perfect and it is better to remove the skins first. Otherwise, you will likely have to strain the puree afterwards.
A far better choice is to invest in an electric food mill. These devices consist of a bowl to hold the food, an electric motor, and a blade which purees the food. There is no strainer and so again you will want to remove any skin from the produce beforehand or you will have to strain the puree afterwards. Preparing homemade baby food with an electric food mill is very simple and these devices are highly recommended.
A food steamer is a kitchen appliance used to prepare foods in a sealed vessel that limits the escape of air below a preset pressure. With steaming, fewer nutrients are lost relative to other cooking techniques, where most of the nutrients are discarded after cooking. The steamer is used to soften up vegetables and other foods so that they can be pureed in the food mill.
Air-Tight Storage Containers
When preparing homemade baby food, it may be desirable to make enough food at once for several meals. In this case, it is necessary to store the food in air-tight containers to prevent spoilage. Tupperware or similar containers in appropriate sizes for single baby meals are available and are nice because your baby can be fed directly out of the container. You never want to feed out of a container and then save unused food from that same container because of the contamination risk.
A microwave oven cooks or heats food by using microwave radiation to heat polarized molecules within the food. Nowadays they are found in virtually every kitchen. They are useful for heating single portions of food that have been prepared previously and stored in the fridge. It is extremely important to take great care to stir the food after heating and then test the temperature to insure that there is no risk of burns since a microwave oven can heat food very quickly to a very high temperature. It may require no more than 15 seconds to heat a single portion of baby food. Be careful!
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