How to make baby porridge?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tool: Slow cooker
Duration: 4-5 hours for it to be ready
** The time you can start cooking depend on what time Edison wants to eat
Steps:
• Put hot water into the slow cooker and add the vegetables. Cook enough for 2 meals.
• After one hour, add the washed rice (about 1 handful)
• When the rice grains have opened up (usually about 1 hour), add the meat.
• If you use fish add this 1 hour before meal time as fish cooks very fast.

What to put in the porridge?

1. Meat and fish
Always boil the meat for a couple of minutes to remove the scum before adding to the porridge. The bones will give extra taste and sweetness.
Pork: ‘neutral’, Can be used frequently. Use the ribs or bony part as this will add sweetness to the porridge.
Chicken: ‘heaty’, Limit to once or twice a week, Do not cook chicken if Edison has a cough.
Beef: ‘heaty’, Smell can be very strong if use too much.
Fish: ‘neutral’, Add a slice of ginger to the porridge to remove the fishy smell. Check carefully that any bones are removed. Do not eat if Edison has a cold as it produces more phlegm. Salmon and cod are too rich in omega oil therefore not suitable below 1 year.
Dried scallop, ikan bilis (anchovies) & oysters:
Very salty, Should only be used once or twice a month.
To remove the excess salt, soak in milk for about 20 minutes before use.

It is best not to use minced meat because you do not want baby to eat too much meat at this age. Minced meat is quite rough in texture - difficult for baby to swallow. Eating too much meat may also lead to intestinal worms. The reason for using meat is to extract the protein and add taste to the porridge. Do not add salt as too much salt can lead to kidney problems. Some people add sesame oil but this can make the porridge ‘heaty’ if used too often.

2. Root Vegetables
Root vegetables are used to add bulk and fibre to the porridge. Must be grated finely.
Potato - use only half the potato
Sweet potato is very useful if your baby suffers from constipation
Carrot should not be used more than 2 times a week as it can make your baby’s skin yellow

3. Green leafy vegetables
Use only the leaves which must be very finely cut. Buy the ‘baby’ variety as they are finer and easier for babies to digest
Boxthorn leaves or gow gei are high in carotene.
Spinach or choy sum is rich in iron
Broccoli/Cauliflower - use only the florets and chop finely
Water cress is cooling so you can neutralize it by using chicken or adding red dates
Tomato must be finely chopped. You can remove the skin by putting it over a flame
Long beans/French beans must be chopped finely

Try to use a wide variety of food so that your child gets used to them quickly and easily. I always combine fish or meat with one root vegetable and one leafy vegetable in the porridge. It also provides a variety of taste and your child will not become picky with food.

Food not suitable for use before your baby is 1 year old.
Eggs have too many allergens especially in the egg white. Start with the yolk and watch out for allergic reactions, when you introduce eggs to your child.
Honey
Citrus fruits or juices may provoke an allergic reaction, especially if allergies run in your family. Do not give sweet juices from a feeding bottle as this leads to early tooth decay.
Peanut butter - Peanuts are highly allergenic. The thick sticky consistency may make it difficult for baby to swallow.
Crustaceans are considered toxic and if given too early can lead to allergies. There is no hurry to introduce this food.
Kai lan/cabbage - the leaves are too fibrous which makes it difficult to breakdown and digest
Nuts or anything that is hard and cannot dissolve easily.

Signs of an allergic or bad reaction to food include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling, abdominal pain, cough, crankiness, excessive gas, stomach bloating, hives, itching and runny nose.

From 10 months onwards, you can start offering other types of food such as noodles but it must be cut up finely so that baby will not choke. If the noodles are salty, rinse it out with boiled water before cutting it. You can also offer bread and sliced cheese but make sure that they are cut into smaller pieces so they do not become a choking hazard.

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