Home-made food is best for your baby

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

Food prices are rocketing so it makes sense to cook your baby's food yourself.

It is healthy and can save you hundreds of rands.

Zandile Maweni, a mother of triplets, says making your own baby food is at least 50 percent cheaper than store-bought baby food.

"Making your own baby food is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a parent," Maweni says.

"To watch your children enjoying and thriving on healthy meals you have prepared yourself is immensely gratifying.

"Another benefit is that, nutritionally, it's hard to beat the wholesomeness and freshness of foods right from your kitchen."

Pediatrician Jane Laubag says one of the most important things when raising a baby is finding healthy, delicious food that provides the best nutrition for a growing infant.

She says baby food is introduced anywhere from the age of six months to two years.

"Home-made baby foods contain no fillers or additives," Laubag points out.

"You know exactly what you are feeding your baby. You have total control over what is put into your baby's food.

"You can even feed baby some of your family's regular foods knowing that they are free from the additives and fillers found in some store-bought products."

She says if a baby is prone to food allergies, home-made food will ensure that there is no hidden allergenic foods.

Fruit purée

½ apple

½ banana

½ pear

juice of one orange

Prepare the fruit and purée mixing all ingredients together.

Add a dash of baby cereal if the mixture needs thickening.

Serve at room temperature. Feed baby this mixture once or twice daily, especially in the afternoons around tea time.

Rolled oats and bananas

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup water or milk

1/3 ripe banana

1/4 cup milk

Combine rolled oats and 1/2 cup of water or milk. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Slice banana and purée in baby food grinder, add remaining milk and mix thoroughly. Stir the banana-milk mixture into the cooked cereal.

Tips for safe baby food

Before you start:

lWash your hands before preparing food;

lUse a clean cutting board, equipment and containers to cook and store food;

lWash and peel fruits and vegetables and remove seeds and pits before using.