Let's talk about baby food and how we can make it helpful for our children from a therapeutic lens!
Since having three children, I was not keen on buying baby food in those jars. I had tasted a few myself and "cue" yuck face! I also didn't want to be spending money on baby food if I didn't have to. So, homemade purees needed to happen. I still enjoyed buying the baby pureed pouches and still do! They are super handy and can fit in different flavors and ingredients that you might not be able to do on your own. The pouches also don't taste all that bad!
Here is what I have created in the past to help introduce new tastes while keeping it simple. This puree was given to a 6-8-month-old who just started solids and exploring new tastes as a bonus to their daily intake.
HOMEMADE SWEET POTAmedium-sizedTO recipe (super easy to do & takes about 20 minutes!)
1. Started with 1️⃣ medium sized 🍠sweet potato.
2. Peel it.
3. Cut it into small sizes (the smaller the size, the less time at the stove waiting for it to cook).
4. Once you can stick it with a fork and it’s soft, remove it from the cooktop.
5. I let it sit till the water is lukewarm.
6. Once it’s at a good temperature, I just dump it all (potato and water) into my blender (as you see in the pic). I use that same water cause most of the vitamins that came from the 🥔 potato are still in there 😎.
7. I purée it in the blender until the consistency is smooth (no chunks!) and pour it into my freezable baby cups.
Voilà 🌟 finit!
My therapeutic advice is to encourage taste exploration and build a tolerance to new flavors. You don't want to start adding more textures to it because we are not trying to develop their oral motor skills yet. The goal is enjoyment of the taste and experience. Building oral motor skills will happen but I can talk more about that later when children start to eat more soft meltables and semi solid foods 👌.
I also want to ensure they are safe managing this pureed food and that it also creates a more positive experience for both of you 👍👌
Thank you for reading,
Jessica Earle, Occupational Therapist