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Food Storage Tips: Baby food

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My sister has a toddler. Last time she came to visit, I saw some of her good ideas for baby food for young children.

She hates spoon feeding babies. So she figured out some cool ways of making regular food into finger food for babies. She figures that if the baby can’t digest it in its regular cooked form, they really don’t need it. The babies like to feed themselves, so she lets them.

Oatmeal bars. She cooks oatmeal really thick, so it stays in chunks. She cooks it with water or formula for babies under one year, or with whole milk for babies over one year. She’ll microwave it, let it cool, and then cut it up into little squares. The baby picks the squares up and feeds himself.

Beans. She cooks up a batch of dry beans until they are soft. After they are cooked, she spreads them out on a cookie sheet, freezes it, and puts the frozen beans into a freezer bag in the freezer. Then she has a bag full of individually frozen beans. When it’s time to eat, she takes the correct amount, microwave it, and serves it to the baby. This is cleaner and cheaper than canned beans, and you don’t have a can in the fridge.

Vegetables and fruits. She’ll use regular canned fruit and vegetables for babies. She looks for low sodium versions. Canned vegetables are very soft. If the pieces are large, she cuts them down. She places the food on the plate and the baby feeds himself.

Bread. In her experience, babies can eat dense homemade bread more easily than fluffy store-bought bread. Because it is denser, it is more like a cracker.

Breastfeeding. Breast milk is best for babies. In most cases it’s best for their health, it’s best economically, and once you and the baby know what you’re doing, it’s more convenient. Do all you can to breast feed your children. Breastfeeding helps your family be more self-sufficient as well. I bought some formula a couple of months ago for a 72 hour kit (even though our family doesn’t have a baby, in an emergency formula and diapers are the items most desperately needed). I was very surprised how much the price had gone up in the last 4 years.

If you have to formula feed your baby, consider working towards storing a supply that will last until the baby is a year old. This will protect you from inflation or interruptions in the food distribution network. Formula-fed babies are dependent on formula. It would be heart-breaking to see a baby hungry because formula wasn’t available.

Other homemade baby food ideas. You can puree fruits and vegetables yourself, freeze them in ice cube trays, and then thaw when it’s time to feed the baby. You can use potato flakes as baby food. And of course you can mash up whatever the rest of the family is eating. That’s usually what we did.

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