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  • Hi, I’m Kate Yerxa, extension educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

  • Today, were going to talk about making your own baby food. With a little planning

  • and some kitchen utensils, you can make foods for your baby at home. Homemade baby food

  • will help cut food costs, provide your baby with nutritious foods and make your life just

  • a little easier. Some of the materials you can use to make

  • your own baby food: a cutting board and knife for food preparation; a cooking pot, steamer

  • or baking dish for cooking; a spoon, fork, potato masher, blender, food mill or strainer

  • for pureeing; and an ice cube tray, cookie sheet, wax paper, plastic wrap and freezer-grade

  • containers or bags for storing homemade baby food.

  • Canned or frozen vegetables and fruits also may be used to make homemade baby food. When

  • using commercially prepared canned or frozen items, check the ingredient label to avoid

  • extra sugar, salt and fat. Ways to prepare foods for homemade baby foods:

  • Steaming or boiling are acceptable for fruits, and microwaving, steaming and boiling are

  • acceptable for vegetables. To minimize vitamin loss, boil fresh vegetables or fruits in a

  • covered saucepan with a small amount of water, or steam them until just tender enough to

  • either puree, mash or eat as a finger food. For meats, baking, boiling, broiling, braising,

  • stewing and steaming are good cooking methods, but frying is not. Cook meat until it is soft

  • and tender and reaches a safe temperature according to a meat thermometer. Do not add

  • salt, seasonings, sugar, butter, margarine or oils to foods for babies younger than 1

  • year old. Foods taste differently to your baby than they taste to you.

  • With clean hands, equipment, work surface and fruits or vegetables, you are ready to

  • start. Today, we will be preparing peaches. First, wash the peaches, then cut in half,

  • remove the pit, peel and place cut side down in a baking dish. Next, were going to add

  • to 2 inches of water to our peeled peaches. Now, bake for 20-25 minutes in a 400-degree

  • oven. After cooking, the next step is pureeing.

  • Pureeing food means that you put it through a sieve, grinder or blender to make it into

  • a pastelike or thick liquid with a smooth texture. If you are making baby food for immediate

  • use, use within one to two days. Store in a refrigerator at 40 degrees or less in a

  • clean container marked with the date the food was made.

  • To freeze in single-serve portions, try using either an ice cube tray or a cookie sheet.

  • For the cookie sheet method, drop 1-2 tablespoons of cooked, pureed food in separate spots on

  • a clean cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and

  • put in the freezer. When cubes or cookies are frozen, with clean

  • hands put them in a clean plastic freezer container or a bag, and store in the freezer

  • at zero degrees or less. Write the name of the food and the date on the container, and

  • use within one month for best quality. Once frozen, homemade baby food can be thawed

  • or defrosted in three ways: in the refrigerator, under cold running water or as part of the

  • reheating process. Do not thaw baby food on the counter at room temperature or in standing

  • water. When you remove baby food from the freezer, label it with the date and time removed.

  • Store thawed baby food in the refrigerator, and use it within 48 hours or throw it out.

  • Meat, poultry and fish should be used within 24 hours. Do not refreeze baby food that has

  • thawed.

Hi, I’m Kate Yerxa, extension educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

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