Here is what parents are asking this week:
1. How do I clean high chair straps?
As most parents soon realize, as much food gets on the high chair as gets into baby’s mouth. Most of us wipe down our high chair after every meal, but that doesn’t stop those pesky straps from getting pretty grimy. Most high chair straps can simply be removed and put into a washing machine on a gentle cycle. Leave them out to air dry (do not put in dryer). Another option is to soak them in a tub of warm soapy water (dish soap is fine), scrub, and then leave to air dry. If straps cannot be removed, give them a good spraying with a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner, and scrub with a microfiber cloth, using a toothbrush to get out tough spots.
2. What age is it okay to give baby legumes / lentils?
The introduction of lentils and beans is recommended between 8-10 months old. As with the introduction of any new food, it is best to start slowly and monitor to see if baby has any adverse reaction, such as excessive tummy upset or gassiness. Once baby is ready, legumes and lentils provide an excellent source of both protein and fiber. Lentils cook up quickly and can be easily combined with other cooked vegetables and whole grains to create filling, wholesome purees.
3. How long does baby food stay good after it has been opened?
As a rule of thumb, all baby food pouches can last 24 hours in the refrigerator after being opened. Jars that contain meat or poultry should also be discarded after 24 hours in the refrigerator. Jars with only fruit or vegetables can last up to 3 days. The same goes for homemade baby food: 1 day for meat or poultry, and 3 days for all vegetable and fruit purees. With Amara, as soon as you add in breast milk, formula or water to your baby food meal, it's the same shelf life as any other freshly prepared food. As a manufacturer, we have to tell you to eat it all in one sitting. As a mom, I would treat it as you would any other puree or fresh food you made at home. Store all baby food in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and use masking tape and a sharpie to label the dates to help keep track of their freshness.
4. What purees do you recommend for constipation?
Prunes, or dried plums, are hailed throughout the world for their powers to help with constipation. Soak 2-3 prunes in just enough hot water to cover them for about 10 minutes. This will soften the prunes. Then puree and serve or add them to another prepared puree, such as apple. Along with prunes, other stone fruits, like apricots, peaches, and nectarines are effective. Pumpkin and pears are also a great choice for softening baby stools. Don’t have time for steaming and chopping up a pumpkin? Yeah we get that. At Amara, we have a Pumpkin Pear flavor ideal for preventing and easing baby constipation, ready when you need it. Check it out here.
5. What and when are snacks appropriate for my baby?
Some of you may be thinking, when should I start offering snacks? Generally between 6-12 months of age, most babies are working their way up from 1 meal a day to 3 meals a day of solids with feedings in between. When a baby is comfortable with three meals a day, they might start to give signs that they are a bit hungry between meals, and this could be the right time to start introducing a healthy snack. This could be mid-morning or mid-afternoon or both depending on your baby. Some healthy snacks for 12+ month olds include: fresh fruit, fresh veggies, cooked veggies, sliced omelette or egg “cups,” wholegrain toast, yogurt, cheese, smoothies, pea crisps, pieces of freeze-dried fruit, mini muffins, applesauce, veggie pancakes (like these Kale Potato ones), hummus and whole grain crackers.