We know that processed foods have many additives like preservatives, sodium, and fillers. Whole foods and minimally processed foods retain more nutrients and are healthier. This is the reason we are all trying to reduce our consumption of processed foods, but why does this theory get thrown out the window when we start feeding our babies? Yes there are occasions when you are out and cannot cook, but ideally it’s best to feed babies freshly cooked whole foods.
The number of foods being marketed to mothers for their babies and toddlers is astounding. Cereals that are fortified with iron, that have added vitamins and minerals, or that contain pro-biotics. Which one should you choose? How do you know if your baby is getting all the necessary nutrients they need? It is overwhelming, but you can make all the foods your baby needs at home using real ingredients and without opening a box.
By choosing foods that naturally contain the nutrients your baby needs your baby will benefit from nutrients that are easily absorbed and you can avoid any unhealthy additives. Are you concerned about probiotics? You can mix some plain yogurt into their morning cereal. Do you want to ensure your baby is getting plenty of iron? Cook them some egg yolks or cut up plain meat into small pieces. All the nutrients your baby or toddler needs can be provided by feeding them whole foods the same foods that you should be eating like whole grains, vegetables, fruits and meat. All the nutrients that fancy pre-packaged baby foods are being fortified with are found in healthy and nutritious whole foods. The best part is you can make your own baby foods at home for a fraction of the cost.
Whole grain oats can be introduced at 6 months and are easier to digest for babies compared to rice. Whole grain oats contain fiber, B vitamins, and minerals like magnesium. Use the recipe below then mix and match pureed fruits, vegetables, and even spices for start your babies food journey.
Quick Oats Baby Cereal
- 2 TBSP quick oat powder
- 1 cup water
Use a skillet to toast oats over medium heat stirring constantly until fragrant. You just want to toast the oats a tiny bit and remove any moisture. Add Oats to a blender or spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container. To prepare Quick Oats Hot Baby cereal add 1 cup of water and heat in a saucepan over medium heat ensuring to stir to prevent any lumps. Add some flavour and nutrition by using purees of these healthy additions:
- Sweet potato
You can even add a small pinch of spices to your babies cereal. Ginger can be helpful for upset tummies, turmeric is full of antioxidants and cinnamon can add some sweetness without using sugar.
Many nutritionists recommend not feeding babies salt, sugar, or honey until 1 year. Please consult your health care provider for a full comprehensive list of foods that should be avoided.