Meal Prepping, Baby Edition
Meal Prepping, Baby Edition
by: Jasmine Reed
You breathe a sigh of relief as you make your way across the threshold, entering your humble abode after a long day’s work. Lucky for you, what’s for dinner is the least of your worries thanks to your meal prepping earlier in the week!
A popular task amongst those with a busy lifestyle, meal prepping has become the ideal way to optimize one's time and essentially, make life a little bit easier. According to wholelifechallenge.com, it’s also much healthier and saves you money in the long run. But more importantly, you’re able to spend more time with your baby and less time in the kitchen.
For those parents who may be a novice to the whole meal-prepping trend, below are a few basic tips to make mealtime less stressful.
The first step to successful meal prep is planning your baby’s meal(s) for the week. Depending on their age, certain food items aren’t recommended, but for the most part, they can pretty much eat the same things you do. This cuts down the amount of items on the grocery list and leaves more money in your pocket for other necessities. So, pick a few veggies and fruits along with other food items for the family to enjoy that week. Also, be sure to pick an ideal “prep day.” Saturday and Sunday are common prep days, but choose what works best for your family’s schedule.
Be well equipped
Having the right appliances aids in the ease of meal prepping. Some type of potato smasher, blender or food processor will be needed to purée certain fruits and veggies. You’ll also need some type of steamer useful for softening certain solid foods, if your child is of that age. Ice trays will help with rationing out the serving size of each food item, and reusable pouches or containers will work for storage! Be sure all appliances and things used to prepare your baby’s food is stored separately and cleaned thoroughly.
When cooking and preparing your baby’s food, remember their palettes aren’t as developed as yours. Their food doesn’t need seasonings, such as salt and pepper, to make the food satisfying. These additives are actually not recommended until they are of a certain age. Luckily, this allows them to get the true flavor of the food item and based on their behavioral cues, let you know whether they like it or not. Texture is really important during the preparation process, as well! Be sure everything is puréed well, double-checking for lumps and other potential choking hazards.
Since you’ve rationed out everything with the ice trays, the only thing left to do is to place those frozen portions into labeled reusable pouches. According to wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com, you can store the prepared baby food in the freezer up to 3-6 months and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours.
When it's mealtime and you need to reheat certain food items if you must put it in the microwave, be cautious of certain spots in the food which may be hotter than others. Let the food cool for the same amount of time it was heated in the microwave, before serving it to your baby. If possible, try reheating over the stove instead, to ensure proper heat distribution.
Overall, be sure to keep mealtime fun and exciting for your baby. Don’t be afraid to change up the meal combinations with the frozen portions you have, and enjoy the extra time you get to spend with your little one.