According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies are ready to start exploring solid foods at about 4 to 6 months of age. Developmental cues include babies being able to hold up their head, reach for food, and use their tongue to move food to swallow rather than spitting out.
Begin feeding just a few teaspoons at first. Babies get most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula for the first year, so don’t worry if they don’t seem to consume much. Don’t force them to eat if they turn away or cry; learning to eat is a gradual process. Before long they’ll open their mouth for more. Wait 2 or 3 days between introducing new foods so they get used to them.
While Fresh Thyme has a selection of baby foods, you may want to make your own to control the ingredients your baby consumes and to stretch your budget.
Select a variety of produce from Fresh Thyme to create a balanced diet. Wash, scrub, and peel fresh vegetables and fruits just as you would for a regular dish. To save time, purchase organic frozen fruits and veggies that haven’t been processed with added ingredients.
Chop each ingredient into uniform pieces to cook evenly and quickly. Steam or boil foods as appropriate. Retain flavor and nutrients by not overcooking. (Remember babies may not have any teeth.) Test for softness by squishing a piece between your fingers; if you have to squeeze hard, it’s not yet done.
Depending on the food, you may need to process or blend it to finish preparing it for your baby. Add no salt, sugar, or spice. The food may seem bland to you, but your baby’s palate isn’t as developed as yours.
Once the baby food is cooled, store it a couple of ways, using a permanent marker to date and identify the food.
Pour or ladle into ice cube trays and freeze. Once fully frozen, pop out the cubes and store in freezer bags up to three months. Remove a cube or two at mealtime and thaw or microwave to the desired temp.
Pour or ladle into clean, sterilized, freezer-safe 4-oz. jars. Leave space at the top for expansion. Pull out jars a few hours before mealtime and thaw in the refrigerator. Use within a day or two.