Getting started - How to prepare solid food for babies

(Video uploaded 03/2018)

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Title:Getting started - How to prepare solid food for babies

How to prepare solid food for babies

Heading: Getting Started on Healthy Eating for 6 to 24 month old children - How to prepare solid food for babies

Sub-heading: How to prepare solid food for babies

Hostess: When babies first begin eating solid food they are unable to chew. Therefore, food must be made into a texture that babies are able to swallow. In the following section, we will talk about the suitable food for babies and the tools used to make them.

Sub-heading: Choice of food

Sub-heading: Suitable food for babies

Narrator: The first food that babies eat are usually smooth and runny purees. Therefore, choose food that can easily be turned to smooth puree. Choose from easily mashed fruits and vegetables such as winter melon, hairy melon, chayote melon, pumpkin, carrots, Chinese spinach, spinach, ripe bananas, pears, or peaches. Offer vegetable and fruit purees as the first food so that your baby learns about the natural tastes of vegetables and fruits early. For grains, you can give your baby strained congee, baby rice cereal and baby oat porridge. Start with rice cereal and then introduce vegetables and fruits. These food are unlikely to cause food allergies. After trying rice cereal for 3 or 4 days, babies can then try vegetable puree. You can either mix the vegetable puree with rice cereal, or feed him the puree directly. Let your baby taste plain food first. After your baby accepts the food with a bland taste, you can give him food that are naturally sweet. Seasoning should be avoided.

Sub-heading: Tools for preparing food purees

Narrator: Using suitable tools, it is easy to make mashed food and food puree. You can use a strainer, grater or a small blender. Here our dietitian will demonstrate how to make different food purees for babies.

Joyce Mak, Registered Dietitian: When babies are about 6 months old, they can start eating pureed food. Next, I'll show you how to prepare baby's first food including rice cereal, spinach puree, pear puree and potato mash. Whenever we handle food, we should pay attention to hygiene. The kitchen must be kept clean all the time. Before handling food, remember to clean your hands and tools thoroughly to avoid bacterial infections.

Sub-heading: Rice cereal

Joyce Mak, Registered Dietitian : First, I will show you how to prepare baby rice cereal. To make rice cereal, we need baby rice cereal powder or milk cereal powder, some breast-milk or formula milk in a small cup, a baby bowl and a spoon. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of rice cereal powder from the package and put into the bowl. Then, add
2 to 3 tablespoons of breast-milk or formula milk or according to the instructions shown on the package. Stir it into a smooth puree. If milk cereal powder is used, just add warm water. The cereal powder already contains milk. If the cereal is too thick, you can add a bit more water or milk to make it more liquid. Now you can feed your baby.

Sub-heading: Spinach puree

Joyce Mak Registered Dietitian : Vegetables are rich in dietary fibers, vitamins and minerals. Babies at 6 months old can try vegetable puree. Vegetables like spinach or Chinese spinach are suitable choices. To make spinach puree, you need the following tools, a chopping board for cooked food, a knife, a strainer, a grinding rod or a spoon and a baby bowl. First, wash the spinach thoroughly and cook it until it's soft. Then, put a bunch of cooked spinach on the chopped board, cut away the stalks. Shred the leaves, and then chop the spinach leaves in different directions repeatedly so as to get finer pieces for easy straining. Now, put the vegetable pieces into the strainer which is on the top of a bowl. Use a grinding rod or a spoon to grind and press the vegetable the pieces against in circles. Remove the pureed or strained spinach on the bottom of the strainer with a spoon. The pureed spinach is ready. You can feed your baby the
pureed spinach straight away or you can mix the puree with the rice cereal or congee.

Sub-heading: Fruit puree –pear puree

Joyce Mak Registered Dietitian: In addition to vegetables, babies can also try fruit puree. Choose fruits that are ripe and have soft flesh such as apples, pears, bananas, or peaches, etc. These fruits are all good for making puree. Next, I'll demonstrate by using a pear. There are 2 ways to make fruit puree. The first one is to scrape with a teaspoon. Get a half of a pear with skin but core removed and hold it with the flesh surface faced upwards. Scrape out the pear flesh with the teaspoon with the other hand. Keep scraping in 1 direction. This is the pear puree we can get. If the puree or mash is not smooth, use a strainer to remove the small lumps. Press the lumpy mash through the strainer , placed on the top of a bowl with a spoon. Remove the smooth pear puree strained from the bowl with a spoon. This is what smooth puree should look like. The second method is to use a fine grater. Hold the grater firmly against the bowl with one hand. Hold the pear on the other hand. Put the grater firmly against the bowl. Grate the skinned part of the pear on the grater forward and backward. Now we have pear puree.

Sub-heading: Mashed potato

Joyce Mak Registered Dietitian: Potatoes, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables can be mashed to make baby food. Take potatoes as an example. First, boil the peeled potato pieces until soft. Then use a spoon to mash them. Add a small amount of warm water so that it can be mashed more easily. You may find the mash a bit lumpy. Press the lumpy mash through the strainer placed on the top of a bowl with a grinding rod or a spoon. Put it in the strainer and grind away any lumps to create a finer texture for your baby. Remember to strain the mashed potato while it is still warm before it cools down and dries out. For a smoother texture, you can add and stir in a small amount of warm boiled water or milk.

Hostess : In handling food, it's important to make sure that the tools and food are clean. Now, we'll talk about how to clean the tools and some important points about food safety.

Sub-heading: Cleaning tools and food safety

Sub-heading: Procedures of cleaning tools

Narrator: All tools must be washed thoroughly both before and after use. Rinse the tools with hot water before use. After use, wash the tools with hot water and detergents and clean them with a cloth and brush to remove leftover food and oil. Then, dry them with a cloth or leave them to air-dry.

Narrator: Food Safety. Pay attention to the following points regarding food safety whenever you handle food. Frozen food. If food is not eaten immediately, it must be stored in a fridge of less than 4°C and consumed as soon as possible. If the food is not eaten within 12 hours, it must be kept frozen at -10 °C, or below in a freezer for a maximum of 7 days. Reheating food, frozen food must be defrosted inside the fridge. Never defrost it at room temperature in order to prevent bacterial infection. After the food has been defrosted boil for at least 1 minute before serving. Avoid using vacuum flasks. Food must be stored at over 60 °C to reduce the growth of bacteria. Most vacuum flasks cannot maintain such a high temperature, so we should avoid using vacuum flasks to store food. For more information on food safety, please refer to the booklet published by the Centre for Food Safety or its website.