Pumpkin for baby first food
Pumpkin Puree - Healthy Little Foodies
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Pumpkin Puree is a great first food for babies but can also be used to make your favourite pumpkin recipes. Use it in baked goods, stir it into oatmeal or add it to pasta sauces, risottos and soups.How to Make Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkins can be baked, steamed or boiled. Baking pumpkins is my prefered method as I believe it gives the best flavour and is better for retaining nutrients. I also find it less labour intensive (no need to cut off the peel before cooking.)
For these reasons, I always recommend roasting pumpkin when making pumpkin puree.
Preheat oven to 190C / 375F and line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the pumpkin in half, through the stem, and scoop out the seeds and stringy fibres.
Cut into large chunks and roast, uncovered, for approximately 45-50 minutes, until tender.
Once cool enough to handle, remove the flesh from the skin and puree in a food processor or blender.
If you would prefer to boil/steam –
- Cut the pumpkin in half, through the stem, and scoop out the seeds and stringy fibres.
- Chop into 2-3cm (1 inch) chunks and peel.
- Add to boiling water and cook for around 20-30 mins (until tender) or add to a steamer or metal colander over boiling water and steam for about 50 minutes (until tender).
- Puree in a food processor or blender.
Like a lot of fruit and vegetables, pumpkins come in a number of varieties. You can really use any variety but field pumpkins are not recommended.
Field pumpkins, like those used for jack o’ lanterns, have very little flavour, are tough and stringy. They are best left for carving and decoration and should be avoided if making pumpkin puree.
I use Kent pumpkin (also known as a Japanese Kabocha), which is a popular variety here in Australia. If you are based in the USA look for pumpkins labelled sugar or pie pumpkins
Inspect the pumpkin, visually, to see if it has any cuts, bruises or strange discolourations on its skin. If the pumpkin doesn’t look 100% on the outside, chances are it won’t be of the best quality.
Knock the pumpkin on the side with your knuckles, the best pumpkins to have a deep, hollow sound when you tap them.
Test the pumpkin texture with your finger and be sure that the flesh does not give. Soft spots are a sign that the pumpkin won’t last much longerPumpkin Puree for Babies
Pumpkin puree can be enjoyed as it is or mixed with a range of other sweet and savoury purees. Some suggestions include
- apple puree
- carrot puree
- sweet potato puree
Try adding different herbs and spices to give it a completely different flavour profile. Add a little cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg for a delicious sweet puree (mixed with yoghurt, apple, oatmeal etc.) Or add a little thyme, rosemary, cumin or turmeric for a savoury puree (mixed with carrot, potato, chicken, rice etc).Other Uses for Pumpkin Puree
The first time I tried pumpkin in a sweet dish was when I lived in Arkansas, USA back in 2011. Before then I would have only really used it in savoury dishes, mainly soups (coming from the UK).
I guess it depends on where you are from to what you associate it with. Here in Australia, I see it featured a lot in salads. This just shows how versatile pumpkin is. Try using this homemade pumpkin puree in:
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (sub the butternut squash with pumpkin puree)
- Sweet Potato Brownies (sub sweet potato puree with pumpkin puree)
- Sweet Potato Muffins (sub the sweet potato puree with pumpkin puree)
- Pumpkin Risotto (Sub pumpkin chunks for approx 2 cups (450g) pumpkin puree)
80g of pumpkin (roughly 3 heaped tablespoons) counts as one portion of your five-a-day (1)
Pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A and is a good source of vitamins C & E. It is a great source of potassium and contains other minerals such as calcium and magnesium (2)
- Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Alternatively, spoon the puree into ice-cube trays and freeze until solid. (Flexible ice cube trays work best as it is easier to pop out the frozen cubes.) Once fully frozen, pop them all out and place into a freezer bag or container and return to the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months.
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5 from 1 vote
Pumpkin Puree is a great first food for babies but can also be used to make your favourite pumpkin recipes. Ditch the canned puree and use this homemade pumpkin puree in baked goods, stir it into oatmeal or add it to pasta sauces, risottos and soups.
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Food Processor, Blender or Stick Blender
- ▢ 1 Pumpkin * SEE NOTE 1
Heat the oven to 190c / 375f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Rinse the pumpkin under cold water to remove any dirt and pat dry with a clean tea towel.
Using a sharp knife cut the pumpkin down the middle, through the stem, and scoop out the seeds and stringy fibres.
Chop the pumpkin into large chunks. * SEE NOTE 3
Bake in the oven for 45-50 min, until the flesh is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the peel and add to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
- I used a Kent / Jap Pumpkin (popular in Australia). Most varieties will work but the large field pumpkins (used for Halloween decoration/ carving) are not recommended. My pumpkin was 1.23kg (approx 2.7lb) in size and yields 6 cups of puree.
- If USA based look for sugar or pie pumpkins.
- I cut mine into 16 chunks of approx the same size. If using smaller pumpkins you will have fewer chunks.
Nutritonal information is a ROUGH guide only, calculated using an online nutrition calculator.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 68 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Vitamin A 2734IU55%
Vitamin C 25mg30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Amy Whiteford runs the blog Healthy Little Foodies. She is a mum to two, has a BSc (Hons) Food Science, PGDE Primary Education and a Certificate in Childhood Nutrition. She uses her experience and knowledge to create healthy and delicious recipes for kids. Explore the site for creative ideas, tips, and inspiration! Read more
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Pumpkin for Babies - First Foods for Baby
When can babies eat pumpkin?
Pumpkin may be introduced as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age.
Background and origins of pumpkin
There is so much more to celebrate about the pumpkin than its role as a jack o’ lantern for Halloween. First, not all pumpkins are round and orange; the gourds come in a cornucopia of shapes, textures, and hues—some with brilliant red skin and pale, yellow flesh, others covered by a deep green rind speckled with white streaks, there are even steely blue pumpkins with flesh the color of saffron. Pumpkin is another word for squash—specifically, gourds with thicker skin than chayote, cucumber, zucchini, and other more delicate cousins in the squash family. Pumpkins and squash originated in Central America, where they have been grown by Indigenous people for thousands of years, and today they are cultivated all over the world. Pumpkins also come in a range of flavors. For example, the Halloween carving pumpkins have a watery, flat taste compared to the nutty and sweet calabazas of the Caribbean; the dense, aromatic zapallos of South America; and the smooth, creamy butternuts and cheese pumpkins of North America and Australia.
★Tip: When purchasing fresh pumpkin for cooking, look for smaller squash called “sugar pumpkins” or Long Island Cheese pumpkins. While there are hundreds to try, these two are widely available and delicious when used to make pies and other baked treats.
Is pumpkin healthy for babies?
Yes. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A to help strengthen baby’s eyesight, growth, and immune system. Depending on the variety, pumpkin also contains other essential nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate, and fiber, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and more.1
Pumpkin is also high in carotenoids—a fancy word for plant compounds, some of which our bodies convert to vitamin A, and others like lutein and zeaxanthin which have antioxidant effects on the body.2 Studies indicate that carotenoids may reduce the risk of cancer and help address natural cell damage in the body.3 What’s more, the longer pumpkin is allowed to cure after harvest, the more carotenoids it produces. 4
When buying containers of processed pumpkin, look for a BPA-free label. BPA is used to line the interior of food containers and plastic bottles, and studies show that frequent exposure can disrupt baby’s bodily functions.5 6 Increasingly, companies are moving toward “BPA-free” food packaging, however, similar chemicals called BPS and BPF are also used to line containers. While they are also considered to disrupt the endocrine system in our bodies, there is no legislation requiring the labeling of these chemicals on food products.7 8
★Tip: To cut a large pumpkin without losing a finger or a limb, first place the gourd upright on a cutting board with the stem facing up. Insert a sharp knife near the stem and push down on the knife’s handle to cut through the flesh. Hold the opposite side of the pumpkin and continue pushing the knife down into the pumpkin until it reaches the cutting board. Carefully remove the knife, then repeat on the opposite side. Use your hands to crack the pumpkin in two halves, then scoop out the seeds. Now decide what shapes you want to create—chunks, crescent moons, large cubes—and cut accordingly. Now you’re ready to cook!
Is pumpkin a common choking hazard for babies?
No. Cooked pumpkin is not a common choking hazard, but its seeds can be. As always, be sure to create a safe eating environment and always stay near baby during mealtime. Check out our age-appropriate serving suggestions!
For more information, visit our section on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with common choking hazards.
Is pumpkin a common allergen?
No. Allergies to both pumpkin flesh and seed are rare, though it’s not uncommon to get an itchy rash on the hands after handling winter squashes.9 To minimize any reaction, wash your hands after handling, and baby’s face and hands after eating.
As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity on its own for the first couple of servings. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future meals.
How do you prepare pumpkin for babies with baby-led weaning?
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience. Your child is an individual and may have needs or considerations beyond generally accepted practices. In determining the recommendations for size and shape of foods, we use the best available scientific information regarding gross, fine, and oral motor development to minimize choking risk. The preparation suggestions we offer are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for child-specific, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional or provider. It is impossible to fully eliminate all risk of a baby or child choking on any liquid, puree, or food. We advise you to follow all safety protocols we suggest to create a safe eating environment and to make educated choices for your child regarding their specific needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
6 to 9 months old: Offer well-cooked and mashed pumpkin for baby to eat with their hands (or from a pre-loaded spoon) or let baby munch on crescent-shaped pieces of well-cooked pumpkin with the rind on or off (babies will not likely have the jaw strength to bite through the rind at this age). If a too-big piece of food breaks off while eating, stay calm and give the child a chance to work the food forward independently. You can also coach baby to spit food out by sticking out your own tongue and saying, “Ahhh”. Remember that babies have a couple of strong, protective reflexes at this age, including a gag reflex to help keep food forward in the mouth.
9 to 12 months old: Serve bite-size pieces of well-cooked pumpkin if baby has developed their pincer grasp and consider continuing to offer large pieces of well-cooked pumpkin (rind removed) as well. You can, of course, continue with mashed pumpkin as well, which is a nutritious addition to other soft foods like warm cereal, quinoa, or yogurt.
12 to 24 months old: Offer bite-sized pieces of well-cooked pumpkin along with a fork to encourage utensil practice. Help show how it is used by pre-loading the fork for the toddler to pick up independently.
For more information on how to cut food for baby’s age, hop over to our section on Food Sizes & Shapes.
Recipe: Roast Pumpkin
- 1 small sugar pumpkin (about 3 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 175 degrees Celsius. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
- Cut the pumpkin into your shapes of choice—chunks, crescent moons, or large cubes. Compost the seeds or reserve to make roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Coat the pumpkin shapes with the oil of your choice and space evenly on the sheet tray.
- Roast until a knife easily inserts into the thickest part of one of your pumpkin shapes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. If the skin is still on the pumpkin, use a spoon to scrape away from the flesh once the shapes are cool to the touch.
- Serve: Place a couple of pumpkin shapes on a plate and serve to the child as finger food. If you’d like to encourage utensil practice, place a fork on the side of the plate, and eat your serving alongside them to show how it’s done!
To store: Place the roasted pumpkin in an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 1 month.
Pumpkin is nutty and sweet—a taste that pairs well with similar flavors like almond, amaranth, chestnut, coconut, corn, quinoa, or rice. Balance the pumpkin’s sweetness with tart flavor from cranberry, grapefruit, pomegranate, pineapple, tamarind, or tomato. Add cinnamon, curry, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, or your favorite seasonings and spices for extra layers of flavor!
J. Truppi, MSN, CNS
V. Kalami, MNSP, RD
K. Rappaport, OTR/L, MS, SCFES, IBCLC
S. Bajowala, MD, FAAAAI. (allergy section)
R. Ruiz, MD Board-Certified General Pediatrician and Pediatric Gastroenterologist
- Kulczyński, B., & Gramza-Michałowska, A. (2019). The Profile of Carotenoids and Other Bioactive Molecules in Various Pumpkin Fruits (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne) Cultivars. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(18), 3212. DOI :10.3390/molecules24183212. Retrieved October 28, 2020
- Kulczyński, B., & Gramza-Michałowska, A. (2019). The Profile of Carotenoids and Other Bioactive Molecules in Various Pumpkin Fruits (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne) Cultivars. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(18), 3212. DOI: 10.3390/molecules24183212. Retrieved October 28, 2020
- Zhang, M.K., Zhang, M.P., Mazourek, M., Tadmor, Y., Li, L. (2014). Regulatory control of carotenoid accumulation in winter squash during storage. Planta, 240(5), 1063–1074. DOI:10.1007/s00425-014-2147-6. Retrieved October 12, 2020
- Jaswir, I., Shahidan, N., Othman, R., Has-Yun Hashim, Y. Z., Octavianti, F., & bin Salleh, M. N. (2014). Effects of season and storage period on accumulation of individual carotenoids in pumpkin flesh (Cucurbita moschata). Journal of oleo science, 63(8), 761–767. DOI:10.5650/jos.ess13186. Retrieved October 28, 2020
- Braun, J.M. (2017). Early-life exposure to EDCs: role in childhood obesity and neurodevelopment. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 13(3):161-173. DOI:10.1038/nrendo.2016.186. Retrieved October 28, 2020
- Acconcia, F., Pallottini, V., Marino, M. (2015). Molecular Mechanisms of Action of BPA. Dose-response : a publication of International Hormesis Society, 13(4), 1559325815610582. DOI:10.1177/1559325815610582. Retrieved October 26, 2020
- Wanger, C. (2014). Bisphenol S. Food Packaging Forum. Retrieved September 30, 2020
- Jacobson, M.H., Woodward, M., Bao, W., Liu, B., Trasande, L. (2019). Urinary Bisphenols and Obesity Prevalence Among U. S. Children and Adolescents. Journal of the Endocrine Society, 3(9), 1715-1726. DOI:10.1210/js.2019-00201. Retrieved September 30, 2020
- Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) dermatitis., U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
How long to cook pumpkin for baby puree (for complementary foods)?
Have any of you ever wondered how much good stuff is in pumpkin pulp? These fruits can weigh up to 90 kg. And in each gram there are vitamins, mineral components, micro and macro elements. This product is often introduced into the diet of babies, even as the first complementary foods. Young mothers will be interested to know how much to cook pumpkin for baby puree.
- 1 How long to cook pumpkin for feeding a baby?
- 2 Tastes better than store-bought puree!
- 2.1 Ingredients:
- 2.2 Preparation:
Closer to six months from birth, babies need complementary foods. Doctors advise paying attention to hypoallergenic products, including pumpkin pulp. How many minutes to boil a pumpkin for a child? If we are talking about cooking in a saucepan, then 10-15 minutes are enough for the pumpkin to become soft and completely ready to eat.
We will return to the peculiarities of preparing this golden fruit a little later, but now I would like to say a few words about its beneficial properties. What does not fraught with a pumpkin! Bright as the sun, the pulp is enriched with retinol, tocopherol, B vitamins, nicotinic acid, vitamin K. Even in such a product there is the rarest vitamin P. This component is responsible for metabolic processes. It is also essential for the musculoskeletal system.
Note! In complementary foods, such a product is recommended to be introduced at the age of six months. The first "acquaintance" should be small, just one teaspoon is enough.
Despite the great benefits of the vegetable, some children develop an allergic reaction to it. Yes, and overdo it with such a healthy diet is also not worth it. You can add a little pumpkin puree to cereals or mixtures.
Pumpkin puree is suitable for mature fruits that appear on store shelves in autumn. The skin should be dense, uniform, without any dents or putrefactive spots. Pay attention to the tail. If it is dry, then the fruit is ripe and can be safely eaten.
Before cooking, the pumpkin is cleaned, leaving only the pulp. Then it is cut into small cubes, poured with filtered water and boiled. The cooking time is recorded from the moment the liquid boils. After the allotted time, the liquid is decanted, and the pulp is mashed using an immersion blender.
How long to cook frozen pumpkin for baby puree? A frozen product loses some of its beneficial properties, but still it can also be used. The heat treatment time will be about the same. After boiling, cook frozen pumpkin for at least a quarter of an hour.
How long to cook pumpkin in slices for a child in a slow cooker? If you use this kitchen gadget, then it is best to select the program extinguishing mode. Set the timer for half an hour and calmly go about your business. After giving a characteristic sound signal, it remains to drain the water and grind the pulp to a puree consistency.
Tip! In puree, you can add a little melted butter or mother's milk.
Steamed pumpkin retains its maximum usefulness. In a double boiler, in a saucepan or in a slow cooker, the duration of steam treatment is at least a third of an hour. It all depends on the size of the pieces. If you cut the pumpkin finely, it will cook faster.
Some mothers bake this fruit in the oven. You will need about 40 minutes for this. The fastest way to cook pumpkin is in the microwave. At maximum power, the pulp will boil in 5-7 minutes.
Pumpkin puree can be preserved. After grinding, the pumpkin mass is boiled for half an hour at a minimum heat, and then immediately laid out in sterilized containers.
Note! Since there are no preservatives in canned homemade pumpkin puree, it must be stored in a refrigerator.
Not only children, but also adults will enjoy the sweet taste of this wonderful fruit. You just need to learn how to cook pumpkin properly, and this dish will become the most popular on your table.
Tastes better than store-bought puree!
Every mother, without exception, can prepare pumpkin puree for her baby. If you are already slowly introducing new foods into the baby’s diet, but add a little granulated sugar, refined olive fruit oil, and salt to the pumpkin puree.
It is important to choose a quality fruit that is ripe but not overripe. Due to the thick skin, the pumpkin is perfectly stored without a refrigerator for a long time. Therefore, you can cook such treats for your child all year round.
- pumpkin pulp - 300 g;
- refined olive fruit oil - a couple of teas. spoons;
- granulated sugar - one teaspoon. a spoon;
- salt - ½ tsp. spoons;
- filtered water.
- Peel the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler.
- Cut the fruit and remove the seeds along with the fibers. Cut pumpkin pulp into medium-sized cubes.
- Transfer the pumpkin pulp to a saucepan or saucepan with a thick bottom.
- Fill with filtered water so that the liquid completely covers the product.
- Bring the liquid to a boil over moderate heat. Then we reduce the fire and detect a quarter of an hour. This is how long it takes for the pumpkin to cook.
- Cool the cooked pumpkin, you can immediately drain the water from it.
- Transfer the pumpkin pulp to the container of a blender or food processor.
- Add crystal sugar.
- Enter some salt.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of refined olive oil. You can use corn, linseed or other oil of your choice.
- Now carefully grind the pumpkin pulp so that the puree acquires a uniform consistency.
- For variety, you can add a little boiled chicken breast. After that, you need to beat the puree again.
- Kids will enjoy this dish with pleasure. If you give puree to a six-month-old baby, it must be heated in a steam bath to a temperature of 36-37 °.
- How long to cook green beans?
- How long to cook red beans?
- How long to cook barley without soaking?
Pumpkin is a wonderful product that nature has given us. Pumpkin puree is an ideal food for crumbs in the first year of life. Having prepared mashed potatoes at home, you will be 100% sure of its naturalness and benefits, unlike store-bought products. Enjoy your meal!
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Pumpkin puree 7 months +Victoria Levchuk©
Pumpkin puree can be prepared in different ways, for example baked or boiled in water. But the main thing to remember is that pumpkin comes in various shapes and sizes, has a golden hue, is rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene.
When digested, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the human body, which improves appearance, vision, etc. Not only does pumpkin help skin and eyes, but it's also a great source of antioxidant carotenoids that help protect our cells from damage. Pumpkin is rich in various useful substances, but its most important advantage is its natural sweetness, which both adults and children love so much. This product is usually introduced immediately after the baby is introduced to zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower.
Please note that pumpkin is the first product that is not green in color, therefore, and not only therefore, it is necessary to monitor the baby's reaction to this type of complementary foods. We observe the rule of waiting, in case of an undesirable reaction, we turn to the pediatrician, and stop giving pumpkin.
Pumpkin puree is a beautiful dish for young children. Orange color, sweet taste attract children and help keep food interest. Rarely do children refuse this product.
Pumpkin suitable for ages 6-7 months. Introduced complementary foods: pumpkin and vegetable oil.
puree from pumpkin
Cut the sweet pumpkin into pieces, remove the seeds.
I show an example of pumpkin cleaning on different vegetables. Usually, if you need to save a part of the pumpkin, then it is cut, part is used, and the other part is left with the seeds, the cut is covered with cling film and sent to the refrigerator in the bottom drawer. It will stay for a long time.
The photo below shows small cuts, this is how the pumpkin is prepared for the oven, if baked in halves.
Place pumpkin with water in a pie dish. Check the water level while baking. You can also peel the pumpkin, cut out the seeds and then cut into chunks and boil/steam until tender, and follow steps 6-8.
Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 40 minutes until the peel starts to wrinkle and the halves are soft, then remove the peel with a spoon.
Place the pumpkin in a blender and puree.
Add water, milk formula, mother's milk as needed to achieve a uniform consistency.
Add vegetable oil if included in the diet.
Comparison of commercial baby food jar (left) and homemade jar (right). Of course, we compare only visually. The taste can only be described and believed in my words.
The taste of the prepared food is not so bright, it seems that the pumpkin was baked, then water was added to it, not sweet. But home-made pumpkin puree with a bright sweet taste, it smells like pumpkin, the taste of pumpkin. The color is bright, saturated.
Pumpkin can be baked in the oven. It turns out more sickly baby puree.
Baked pumpkin can be used to make puree for babies 6-7 months old.
You can also scrape with a spoon for children over 8-9 months old. I draw your attention, it depends on the chewing skills of the child.
Can be cut into pieces for finger food. For children in transition, we give baby puree and pieces of pumpkin to choose from.
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On our site Encyclopedia Baby Food there is useful information on the nutrition of your children, which is useful for everyone, and we update the site "Encyclopedia Baby Food" constantly and try to search and write only excellent, verified and necessary information for you and your children.
Disclaimer No. 1: It must be understood that the author of the articles on the Baby Food Encyclopedia website is not a medical staff, “I am not a doctor.” The information I share is based on my own experience. My goal is not to teach you how to eat or feed your child, but to talk about how we did it, what new things I learned or read. This expands the picture of Baby Food knowledge, gives you a glimpse of the whole process so you can decide if you like it or not.
Disclaimer No. 2 : However, the above does not cancel visiting a pediatrician. Before you start complementary foods, you need to get his professional opinion on the best way to introduce new foods for your baby. I also draw your attention to the fact that you need to look at the original date of the published articles, because some of the "best practices" may have changed. Always check with your child's pediatrician about complementary foods and their health.
Disclaimer #3: Keep in mind that every family is unique, every situation is also completely unique. There are no universal solutions. Only you can find what works best for you. Certain goals require certain sacrifices and priorities - not everyone wants to make those choices, and that's GREAT! Just know what you want to achieve, and be ready to get to work, putting the best of your strength!
Disclaimer No. 4: The Encyclopedia Baby Food website uses photos from books on baby food with attribution, for a more complete understanding of the information (Article 1274, paragraph 1, part four of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation). Literature on baby food is found in the public domain on the Internet.