As a massive lover of food in general, I was blissfully excited when the day came that my children were ready to ‘start on solids’ – so the professionals say. I couldn’t wait to introduce them to new, beautiful textures and flavours, and to expose them to a variety of healthy food choices.
I made the decision to prepare all of their food myself. Of course, as much as I like to call myself Supermum, I most assuredly cannot – and have succumbed to the occasional Plum pouch or Ella’s sachet (shhhh).
But my girls like my food best and I try to live up to their expectations – not that my food is fancy in any way (mashing an avo takes little time and effort) but it’s fresh, tasty and additive free.
I have learnt some lessons in the art of baby food among my cooking journey, which is characterised by a massive dose of trial and error. I do hate to waste food and sometimes I have inflicted some not-so-delicious concoctions on my poor children, who know better than to spit food out and chug it down with brave faces and the occasional whine (boy, do I love them).
If you too, dear mum, have decided to brave the blades of your food processor, I have five tips on how not to prepare baby food (which may save some tears and grimacing – on behalf of both you and your wee one):
1. Freeze food in portion-size containers – a lesson that I still ignore on the occasion; the result is wasted food and/or a very bored baby who never wants to see another butternut after eating it five meals in a row.
2. Blending potato is a bad idea (cheese as well) – the texture is slimy, aka ‘gross’. Mash the potato instead.
3. Blending pulpy fruits (like grapes or uncooked tomato) gives your recipe a weird texture – sort of jelly-ish; it’s not terrible but definitely a little strange. I did it twice and after my poor baby shuddered in dismay, not again.
4. If you need to add some water to get the texture right, don’t do it en masse, do it incrementally – otherwise you may end up with ‘souped’ fruit instead of stewed fruit.
5. Don’t be deterred (or offended) if your baby doesn’t appear to like your lovingly-prepared meal. Try something else and keep the scorned food for another day – your baby may suddenly learn to like your pureed cauliflower (in the name of healthy eating, never give up!).
Happy cooking mums and dads.
What is your top cooking ‘Don’t’ when it comes to prepping baby food?