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Getting Started

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Getting Started

Ask the doctor Your pediatrician will tell you which foods to introduce and when; you can also visit this site for more info. Think outside the box A common first food is rice cereal. Sure, you can buy boxed cereal, but it can be expensive and may have been on the supermarket shelf for longer than your baby has been alive, plus it might contain unwanted additives and preservatives. And making your own is easy and cheap. Take half a cup of uncooked brown rice (preferably organic), pour it into the blender and grind it to a powder. Put the ground rice in a pot, mix it thoroughly with enough filtered water to make a thin paste, and cook, stirring constantly, on a low heat until it has a nice, creamy consistency. Add more water if it thickens too much — it should look like cooked oatmeal. To serve, put a few teaspoons of the cereal in a bowl and mix in enough breast milk or formula to thin it out — and so the taste won’t be entirely foreign to your baby. And remember, children react differently to first foods. If yours refuses her first spoonfuls of cereal, keep adding breast milk or formula until the cereal is just a shade thicker than the milk, then try again. There’s no exact recipe here, just trial and error.

Banana-rama Another great first food is a banana, which is loaded with potassium, and couldn’t be easier to “make”: Break off the tip and mash it in a bowl with a fork. Thin it with breast milk or formula if necessary. An avocado can be prepared the same way.

Perfect purees Pureeing is easy and fast — and you can do large batches whenever you have the time and freeze the leftovers. You don't even need to cook apples and other fruits before you puree them — just peel them the first few times you offer them to your baby. For vegetables like carrots, beets and greens, briefly steam (cut them into small pieces so they steam faster) until they’re soft. Then place them in the blender with some of their cooking water and puree until smooth. Add more cooking water to the puree if it seems too thick. By the way, greens blend well with other foods, like squash or cooked grains.

 
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