Use your Juicer to make Home Made Baby Foods

Making home made baby food with your juicer can be greatly rewarding knowing that you are giving your baby fresh produce that is easily digestible so that they can develop as best they can. Some twin gear model juicers such as the Green Star juicer can be used to make baby food. This is achieved by feeding the produce through the juicer using the 'blank' juicing screen (also used for making nut butters and sorbets) and removing / greatly loosening the pulp pressure nozzle so that the produce is 'piped' out of the pulp ejection nozzle.

The basis of this article has been kindly contributed by Baby Discovery

Why Is Home Made Baby Food Better Than Shop Bought?

Your baby doesn't need to have any shop bought baby foods. Preparing your own food using your juicer may take longer but provides your baby with regular chances to experience a wide variety of textures and tastes in home made food without artificial preservatives or additives. Making your own baby food with your juicer is also likely to be cheaper than bought baby food.

Some babies who have become familiar with ready-prepared baby foods may not want to try the 'real' thing, and struggle with the new textures and flavours. It may take a lot of patience to get them to enjoy family meals.

Some types of commercial baby food include ingredients you would not choose to include in anything you made at home. For example, they often have a high water content, and this means they need starchy thickeners. While these may do no harm, they are low in food value, and poor value for money. Added sugars can be harmful to your baby's teeth.

What am I Trying To Avoid by making my own baby food?

Checking the labels on baby foods can reveal that some are highly sweetened varieties, with high water and starch content. Thickeners are labelled as 'maltodextrin', 'vegetable gum', 'gelatine', 'modified starch' and different types of flour.

When Will My Baby Be Ready For Homemade Baby Foods?

The information below is provided as a rough guide. Babies develop at different speeds anddon’t be too alarmed if your baby is ready quite yet.

Current Department Of Health recommendations are that most babies can start to have solid foods (i.e. not milk) between four and six months of age.

The World Health Organization states that the optimum duration for exclusive breastfeeding in the case of most babies is around six months

  • Cereals – 4 to 6 months
  • Vegetables – 7 months
  • Fruits – 8 months
  • Meats – 10 months
  • Egg Yolks – 10 months
  • Cheese & Yoghurt – 10 to 12 months

How To Make A Puree

The 'pureed / mashed' baby foods that are the first solid types of food given to a baby can be easily made with your juicer. To start off with feed cooked vegetables through the juicer with the blank juicing screen.

  • start by cooking the vegetable/fruit either by steaming, baking, micro- waving or boiling.
  • steaming maintains the most nutrients. Steaming, baking and boiling all allow for big batches of foods to be made at one time.
  • Apples, pears, peaches, plums, mangoes and strawberries all puree well.
  • if you’d prefer to make a vegetable puree, try potatoes, carrot, yam, broccoli or squash.
  • take the cooked vegetable/fruit and feed them through your juicer with the blank juicing screen fitted so that the juice is not seperated from the pulp.
  • Feed some of the liquid that the vegetable/fruits were cooked in through the juicer with the vegetables / fruit.
  • adding this liquid helps to preserve any nutrients that may have leeched into the water during cooking.
  • you may use formula or breast milk if you so desire. These liquids give a little nutritional boost and add a familiar taste for baby.

How Do I Introduce My Baby To Homemade Foods?

  • offer small quantities at first, and only one or two new tastes every few days.
  • if you're spoon-feeding, a couple of teaspoons at a time may be all your baby will want at first. S/he may turn their head away at that. Healthy babies know their own appetites, and forcing the issue only makes mealtimes a source of frustration and anxiety
  • gradually introduce finger foods once your baby has become accustomed to soft/mashed/pureed foods. Finger foods are foods your baby can pick up and eat himself, without any help from you.
  • some babies never really enjoy solids until they're at this stage, usually from about six months, depending on when you started weaning and they seem to prefer managing themselves instead of being spoonfed.
  • some babies move through the pureed food stage quickly, particularly if they have been introduced to solids later (nearer to six months).
  • to prepare finger foods cut or slice the foods up into a shape your baby can hold easily to chew, gnaw or suck at. Suitable finger foods before six months are:
    • cooked vegetables
    • slices of eating apple, pear
    • sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber
    • peas (cooked, as a snack).

How Should I Cook The Foods I Want To Give To My Baby?

The following methods of cooking food are all helpful when preparing home made food for your baby:-.

  • steaming - one of the preferred methods of cooking as nutrient loss is minimal. Left over water can be used in stock and for pureeing.
  • boiling and stewing - leads to loss of nutrients especially water soluble vitamins B and C and minerals. Left over water can be used in stock and for pureeing.
  • baking - cooking using the dry heat in the oven. It’s an excellent way to cook large quantities of food. There is a limited loss of nutrients and the food is easily digestible.
  • microwave cooking – good for cooking small quantities of food. The flavour and nutritional values of vegetables high
  • pressure cooking - loss of nutrients are less in this method since only a little water is used.