Making your own baby food at home gives you more control over the ingredients in your little one's meals, which typically translates to healthier meals. Chopping food and cooking it until it's very soft is a step in most baby food recipes. Using an electric food chopper can speed up the process because you won't have to dice all your ingredients by hand.
Before starting a batch of baby food with your food chopper, wash all the pieces well with warm water and soap, then allow them to air-dry. This prevents your baby's food from being contaminated with bacteria and germs that may be present on the chopper after being stored for a while. Wash the chopper again between ingredients so that you don't mix flavors and create something your baby won't want to eat. Wash fruits and vegetables and remove the peels and seeds, if needed, before chopping. Always cook meat before putting it in the chopper to prevent food-borne bacteria from contaminating anything.
Make sure your chopper is on a stable surface before placing your ingredients in the bowl and turning it on. Turn the chopper off when the pieces of food have reached the desired size and consistency. Wait for the blades to finish turning before opening it. For large fruits and vegetables, you might have to cut them into several smaller pieces before fitting them into the chopper. An electric chopper makes fast work of prepping baby food for cooking, so getting several types ready at one time gives you plenty of options for a few days.
Unless the food you chopped is soft, as in the case of peaches or bananas, you'll have to cook the food before you can mash it into a puree. Steam, boil or bake fruits, vegetables and meats until they are very soft. Some electric choppers, particularly those marketed for preparing baby food, allow you to puree foods, so place the cooked items back into the bowl of your electric chopper and process them until they reach the desired consistency. You can also use canned fruits and vegetables, which are already soft enough to puree, but many are high in salt and sugar, so read labels to make sure you're choosing something healthy for your baby.
Once the baby food is finished, place it in small containers and store it in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours. If you're warming up the food, reheat it to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving, recommends FoodSafety.gov. Allow it cool slightly before spooning it into your baby's mouth to prevent burns.
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