Creating delicious and nutrient filled baby food for Frankie is pretty much my reason for living. Ok, so that's a bit dramatic BUT it gives me a serious kick when I feed my baby food that is completely nourishing and health promoting. These Baby Bliss Balls are great for little kids and big kids alike. That being said, I wouldn't recommend these bliss balls for a baby under 10 months. I would also recommend that you don't introduce these until your baby can confidently eat finger foods. These bliss balls are dairy, gluten, refined sugar and nut free. Being nut free also means that they are suitable for daycare, kindy and school lunches. Winning.
Why Make Your Own Baby Food?
There are two reason why I prefer to make most snacks and meals myself. Firstly, because it means less packaging and therefore it is better for the environment. Secondly, because I can control exactly what is going into the foods that I am feeding my family. Many of the snacks for babies from ten months old and up contain added sugar. In my last post on reducing sugar cravings, I discussed how sugar is highly addictive and we need to cut down on our intake. This doesn't just apply to adults but to babies and children too. Making your own baby food means that you can use healthy, whole food ingredients. In addition, it means that you can avoid snacks based on refined sugars and flours. This is important for a few reasons:
- Refined flour and sugar are both highly inflammatory foods - eating inflammatory foods negatively impacts the immune system and can decrease resilience to illness.
- These foods feed harmful bacteria and negatively impact gut health - a babies digestive system is very immature until around the age of 5. For this reason food intolerances are very common under 5 years of age. Feeding a baby foods that promote the growth of harmful bacteria can increase the likelihood of food intolerances developing.
- Giving sugar from a young age trains the tastebuds to prefer sweeter foods.
Recommendations for Buying Baby Food
I strongly recommend avoiding sugary foods in babies and toddlers for as long as possible. This includes sugary drinks such as juices and poppers, shop bought biscuits and cakes and definitely lollies and confectionary. If you are short on time and do need to buy the occasional pre-made snack or meal ensure that you read the nutrition label and ingredients. Avoid anything with added preservatives, artificial colours and flavours. These are often listed in ingredients lists as numbers - so avoid any foods with numbers for ingredients. Also, be sure to avoid any foods that contain added sugars. I recommend to choose certified organic foods for babies to help reduce their exposure to environmental pollutants. And remember, the less ingredients the better.
I will be posting a more detailed guide for introducing solids to babies in the coming weeks. This will include a break down of the different stages and which foods to introduce when.
- 1 ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup desiccated coconut preservative free
- ½ cup pepitas
- 10 medjool dates pits removed
- ¼ cup extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil liquified
- 1 tblsp water
- desiccated coconut for rolling
- Place sunflower seeds into a food processor and blend on high until it is a meal like consistency.
- Add all remaining ngredients except for the water into a food processor and blend on high until very well combined.
- Remove the lid to test the consistency of the bliss ball mixture. If the mixture doesn't stick together well (this depends on how much moisture is in the dates) add a tablespoon of water and blend.
- Begin rolling mixture into balls and rolling them in coconut, using about half a tablespoon of mixture per ball.