There’s no arguing the fact that you should be making your own baby food. But sometimes you just don’t have the time to cook all of your baby’s meals. Let’s face it, taking care of your baby’s needs and doing even basic household chores is a big challenge when you are severely sleep deprived. And trust me you, you will not be getting adequate sleep till your baby is one and a half years old at least. Then there will be times when you are traveling and may not have access to a kitchen where you can cook. That’s when you have no choice but to resort to readymade baby food.
As per the food chart given by Devansh’s pediatrician, I could start giving Devansh readymade cereals one or two of months after he started eating solids. I don’t recollect the exact time now, but readymade cereal was definitely one of the suggestions in the food chart. I started giving Devansh stage 1 cereals but Devansh somehow couldn’t digest the cereals and would throw up immediately. If we had to go out somewhere for a longer duration where home-cooked meal would get spoiled, I used to carry Gerber purees. Devansh used to eat those properly. In India, these purees are not easily available with local grocers/departmental stores but luckily these days you can order them online from sites like Babyoye.com. I always used to keep a few bottles of Gerber purees in stock.
Few months down the line Devansh was able to eat the readymade cereals. Initially I used to give him popular brands easily available in the market. Then, when Devansh was around one year old, one of my friends told me about Pristine 1st Bites. She said I should try their cereals as they are organic. I tried their Ragi & Mixed Fruits cereal first and Devansh liked it. Then I tried Wheat & Apple, and Devansh liked that too. I used to mix the cereals in milk and give it to Devansh. This way Devansh had some milk at least once a day. Devansh was weaned off after he turned one. And after that he just refused to have cow/buffalo milk. Since he liked Pristine 1st Bites cereals I started feeding them to him once a day. I used to alternate the two flavors so that he didn’t get bored of their taste.
Then one day I thought why don’t I try adding some fresh fruit to his cereal and see if he likes it. I decided to add banana because I thought it would go well with the wheat and apple cereal. After introducing banana in his diet, Devansh must have eaten it only in the first couple of weeks. After that he would eat it only if I mixed it with some other fruit, like papaya. Since Devansh liked bananas with wheat cereal, I started giving it to him every alternate day. These days Devansh does drink milk and so I don’t give him readymade cereals daily. But this banana-wheat cereal combo comes in handy even today when we are out traveling.
Banana provides us several health benefits as it is a nutrient-rich fruit that is high in potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber. Banana is also very good for weight gain. You can start feeding this banana with cereal to your child, after you have introduced milk in his/her diet. (If Pristine 1st Bites cereals are not available in local shops, you can order them online from any leading baby products’ sites like Babyoye.com.)
A quick yet healthy baby food preparation made using banana, and readymade organic wheat and apple cereal.
- 3 elaichi bananas (baby bananas)
- 2-3 tbsp Pristine 1st Bites Wheat & Apple cereal
- Approx. 1 cup milk
- Grate the bananas if your baby is not big enough to chew it properly. Otherwise you can slice it and then mash it a bit. These days I don't grate the bananas as Devansh can chew the banana chunks properly. (You can use one big regular banana if the elaichi ones are not available.)
- Add 2-3 measures (the spoon that comes with the packet) to the banana. (You can use any other cereal of your choice if you don't have the wheat and apple cereal with you. But I would recommend that you use some organic cereal.)
- Add about 1 cup of milk and mix it well. And banana with wheat and apple cereal is ready to be served. Please ensure that your baby has this within half an hour of making it. Don't store any leftover for future use. Either eat it yourself (it doesn't taste too bad :p) or throw it away.
- Note: I did not add cow/buffalo milk to Devansh's diet till he turned one. If you have introduced it in your baby's diet, you can start giving your child this banana mixed with cereal after ensuring s/he can digest both these ingredients separately. If you haven't started giving cow/buffalo milk to your baby yet, you can try adding water in the cereal first and then adding mashed bananas to the mixture.