Steaming baby food is a preferable choice than boiling, particularly in cooking fruits and vegetables. Steaming baby food can take a little bit longer than other methods. It also requires either a steamer basket or a food steamer. Even though this option can be time-consuming, steaming softens fruits and vegetables enough to puree while still allowing the fruits and vegetables to retain a high percentage of their vital nutrients, and that is what we need – the nutrients. Whenever possible, steaming baby food is highly recommended over boiling. But do you wonder how to steam baby food properly? How is steaming food for babies? Read on to find out.
Benefits of Steaming Baby Food
Steaming food is inspired by oriental cooking methods in steam baskets. Steaming has been proven to preserve vitamins and textures. Indeed, it is no longer associated with a diet or tasteless food; in fact, it is your ally for refined low-fat meals.
Learning how to steam baby food is ideal for weaning babies onto solid food because it provides a suitable consistency; one can reuse stock to mix it with milk or food and kills microbes and bacteria.
Steaming vegetables have almost the same preparations as boiling. So, if you have come across this article, then you are in the right place! Know how to steam baby food while reading further!
The smoothest purées, especially from fruits, typically result from wet cooking methods, yes, like steaming! To kickstart your knowledge of how to steam baby food, blend your cooked fruit or vegetable with the right amount of liquid such as water, breast milk, or salt-free broth to achieve a smooth texture in a food processor or food mill. You can also mash food with a fork for a chunkier texture. When you need to serve immediately, thin your purée as desired with a splash of breast milk, formula, or water. If you plan to freeze the food, do that without thinking first. However, it is not safe to refrigerate or freeze partly consumed food due to bacteria causing illnesses that your baby might get.
Start off by preparing fresh vegetables for cooking, or you can open a prepacked set of frozen veggies. Steam these vegetables in a steam basket or microwave in an inch of water, and cover them with a paper towel. Drain after cooking and pop them in the blender or food processor and purée. If you use a blender, you may need to add a little water to make a smoother purée. And there you have it!
These are some of the advantages of steaming baby food:
- You have greater control of what you feed your baby. When it comes to nutrients, you would be sure of using steaming as a method since this is the best way to preserve the needed nutrients in any kind of food,
- You can reduce food waste.
- A great money saver! – The price of 2-3 containers of baby food is almost equal to that of 4-6 pears, which can create enough pureed food for 10 or more meals for your baby. Well, the numbers can definitely speak for themselves!
- Steaming is easy. And it’s a plus that steaming allows minimal nutrient loss.
Food Items to be Steamed
Knowing how to steam baby food is enough knowledge already but learning what types of food can be steamed is helpful, too!
Always remember to cook vegetables well before serving it to your baby. When cooked, softer vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash need only be mashed with a potato masher or simply a fork. For thick-skinned vegetables like green beans or peas, push the cooked food through a strainer or sieve and easy puree.
Some fruits, like avocados, bananas, ripe pears, kiwis, and peaches, do not need cooking. You could just peel and mash them with a fork. Other harder fruits, like apples, pears, and mangos, can be baked or steamed to soften them up for a puree. Wash the fruit, remove the skin, remove the core or seeds, if any. Place the fruit in a shallow baking dish with 1-2 inches of water in a 400-degree oven. If you are the experimental type of mom, you can even sprinkle the fruit with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, or any spice of your choice! Bake for 20-40 minutes and then allow to cool before pureeing in a blender or dicing for finger food.
- Grains and Cereals:
Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, or barley can definitely be good as homemade cereals for your baby. Using a coffee grinder, food processor, or blender, grind the uncooked grain into a powder, then cook the powder in water for 15 minutes until you get a thin, soupy consistency. You can also cook the raw grain whole, as you normally would for yourself, and then puree, but this method can sometimes create a pasty consistency.
Why is steaming good for the baby?
- It preserves vitamins and taste.
The main principle of steaming, as repeatedly mentioned, is to retain the desired nutrients for the baby. The purpose is to lock up and distribute the steam coming from water evaporation to cook food evenly. Steaming is a gentle cooking method that spreads out the steam slowly but steadily into the food.
- Food cooked quickly and evenly.
The steam spreads out evenly and perfectly hydrates the food. Lucky for you, if you are fond of using spices to develop their scents and flavors fully. In obtaining different textures, tastes, and colors, do not hesitate to vary cooking times because each food has different, designated cooking times depending on its texture. For example, a carrot will be ready to be blended after 15 minutes of being cooked. After 10 minutes, it will still be a little crunchy. Find out more about cooking with appliances.
Now that you know how to steam baby food, you can start now by making these suggested meals for your baby. It is best to consider steaming as a method of cooking food for your baby among all other processes. Steaming is great for preserving the necessary nutrients for your baby!