Baby Food: Think Outside the Jar

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Buying those little jars of food at the grocery store may seem like a rite of passage as your baby grows, but it doesn't have to be. You can save money and be sure of the nutrients your baby is getting by making your own baby food at home. Even working moms and those who don't have a lot of time can make healthful foods for baby at home - it's easier than you think. The meat, vegetables and fruit you cook for your family make a fine meal for your baby as well. Just save out a portion of what you cook for the family before you season it, and you can cook it longer to soften and mash for baby. Your child's pediatrician will probably recommend starting with vegetables, and the best way to optimize nutrition is to cook with very little liquid - steaming and microwaving are perfect. If you need to boil veggies or fruit, save out a bit of the liquid - where some of the vitamins may have leached - and add as you grind, mill or mash the food. Other liquids, such as formula and breast milk, work fine, too.