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Homemade Baby Food

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The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet makes a case for tossing the jars and making baby food at home. When it'??s time to start introducing your child to solid foods at six months '?? in addition to breast milk or formula '?? this books offers an easy and economical way to make your own baby food or purees.

Essentially using the whole vegetable or fruit, food is cooked in water, milk or formula, blended together and served or frozen for another day. As simple as that may seem, many parents opt to buy the jarred variety '?? whether due to time restrictions or fear that it'??s too difficult. However, authors Karin Knight and Tina Ruggerio of the new book The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet ($13.59) state that making your own food is not only more nutritious than commercially prepared varieties but it allows you to establish healthy eating patterns for your child.

Additionally, making your own food can be more economical because it can be frozen and used for multiple meals. Even better? Parents don'??t need special skills or fancy kitchen contraptions to get started. A simple and easy-to-use guide such as this book is all you need that includes over 200 food recipes and 60 recipes for babies and toddlers.

To get started The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet begins with a stress-free guide, including the tools that you will need, food items for a healthy pantry, the safest way to freeze baby food and a step-by-step age guide including what solid foods try out. Every recipe also includes two methods of preparation (stovetop or microwave), a snowflake symbol so that you know which recipes are suitable for freezing and a nutritional analysis that includes calories, fat grams, vitamins and dietary fiber.

Starting with recipes for a six-month-old, you will discover delicious recipes such as how to make your own rice cereal to how to make a variety of delicious purees such as sweet pear, apple, banana, avocado, sweet potato and green bean puree. As your child, gets older this book also grows with your child that includes recipes for the sophisticated palate of a 33-month-old toddler. As a mom to a toddler, it was interesting to get new dinner and breakfast ideas like the pear omelet, the Aussie smoothie (macadamia nuts, orange juice, kiwi and yogurt) and baby'??s first rice pudding (see recipe below).

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Aside from recipes, the book is also a great lesson in nutrition '?? for both baby and parents '?? as a way to understand how eating healthy can impact a child'??s health and encourage healthy eating. An explanation of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and water are all discussed as the authors break down the importance of what they do to what foods they come from to how much a child should be having every day. A well-rounded consortium for a well-rounded baby '?? this easy-to-understand recipe guide is a must-have for new parents or seasoned parents that need some nutritional inspiration.

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Baby'??s First Rice Pudding
3 cups of milk
½ cup of uncooked long grain rice
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup chopped raisins

In a small stockpot over medium-high heat, combine milk, rice, sugar, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until rice is creamy and tender. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from heat, add raisins, and discard cinnamon stick. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Serena Norr is a NYC-based writer/editor, soup-maker, and more importantly, a mama. You can read more soup recipes on her blog: 

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