Lately, we’ve discussed so much about which foods are good for your baby with all the benefits of those being listed. Now, we want to share few tips about how to store these foods, so that you can make them once and store them for quite a while.
As we’ve discussed about various types of foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals and legumes, etc. We’ll now discuss how to prepare them and store them, at least for a month or two without the danger of spoil.
Preparing and storing baby food at once can be beneficial in many ways. First of all, it costs less because you don’t need to buy baby food every time and there is a risk of running short of it when your baby might need it badly. You are very much in control of the food because you know what is going into the baby food and you can add or avoid ingredients you want your baby to have.
One of the first foods that we’ll discuss is about cereals. Cereals include rice, wheat, oats, etc that can be given to babies.
Rice, as we know it is a staple that digests easily. But, there are certain ways to prepare rice for babies because when we make rice for babies, some techniques can be adopted. These include dry roasting rice, grinding or pulverizing rice into coarse powder that can be stored in, at least for a month. Do put them in an air tight container. It might not be required to refrigerate it right away, but as days pass and the rice is half done, you can put it in the refrigerator to keep the bacterial contamination to the minimum.
Wheat germ, is another staple which is good for your child. You can make wheat germ at home with good quality and fresh wheat grain. For making wheat germ, you need to germinate wheat grain. This can be done by soaking the grain in just sufficient amount of water. Do not add excess water, as it can disturb the process of germination. The germination process can take between 2-3 days. In colder regions, it can take more time, so don’t worry. After the grain has germinated, you can sun-dry it, grind it and store it in an air tight container in refrigerator for 2 weeks.
Legumes or lentils
Generally, legumes or lentils can be stored directly in a freezer. As they require rinsing before being cooked. So it is better to store them first and clean them right before the use. If you want to make sure that the lentils stay longer, sun dry them for few days. The heat from the sun is good enough in killing any bacteria or fungus that clings to the seed. But, roasting will render them useless because, the seeds die out due to the intense heat and it becomes easy for bacteria to thrive on the seeds.
Vegetables and fruits
Preparing and storing your own vegetable puree for your baby can be a very good idea, as it saves a lot of time and effort. In order to do this, you need to cook the vegetables of your choice. You can boil them, bake them, microwave them or steam them. Then you can put the cooked vegetable in a blender or use a hand-held blender to make a puree. Now you can store this in the freezer either by using ice cube trays or directly in a good quality plastic jar. Don’t use glass bottles for freezing as bottles can break and the shrapnel get embedded in the food. While cooking add as little water as possible. And while pureeing do not add water at all. If you happen to add water for boiling purpose, make sure that all the water is strained before pureeing it. This is due to the fact that water can increase the bacteria content in the puree. And during the freezing process, it usually adds the ‘fridge flavor’ to the food. One of the best ways to do this is by steaming the vegetable. Steaming generally keeps the nutrients intact and there is also less water residue when compared to boiling. So, you can opt for steaming.
For fruits like apple, you might want to cook it before hand. But, avoid cooking fruit because, the nutrients in fruits are highly volatile in comparison to vegetables and you’ll be left only with plain sugars. Instead, you can opt for smoothies of fresh fruit without adding any water and sugar. After you’re done with the smoothie, take it in an air tight container to store it in the freezer.