Thursday, June 26, 2014

Making Baby Food

I have been asked by a few different people how I made baby food, how I stored it, etc. so I figured it was time to put it in the blog. I don't have a lot of pictures because at the time I didn't think I would have a blog, nor was I thinking about taking pictures when I was trying to make food with a baby to take care of at the same time.

Tips and Suggestions

- Baby food doesn't have to be gross. It should taste good to you too because after all it should be just pureed food that you would eat. You can easily do chicken and rice and veggies and pureed with stock if that's what you are doing for dinner. I used to make a bunch at a time, freeze it, and add different combinations of cubes for one meal or just make sure she was balanced throughout the day.
- It is very American to start with that gross mushy cereal... start with an avocado pureed with milk (breast or formula if that's what they are still drinking) until thin. Way more nutritious than what comes in a box.
- Add vegetables in any way you can... seriously... spinach with any fruit and you can't taste the spinach... try it with apples and cinnamon :)
- Don't buy special equipment... see below on what you need
- Don't give up, keep trying different combinations and see what your baby likes, try foods a few times because these are new textures for baby.
- Making your own food is SOOOOO much cheaper... but in a pinch or if you are out and about don't feel guilty about the high-quality store bought ones... there are some in the pouches that are awesome.

What do you need?

- A blender... yours in fine... please don't invest in a "beba" or "baby bullet" so unnecessary unless you have no blender at all
- A steamer basket, or collapsable steamer
- Ice Cube Trays


You can buy fancy storage containers, bags, and various other products to store baby food. I found that the cheapest, easiest way was to put the food in (clean) ice cube trays, wait until they were frozen, then pop out the food cubes and store them in labeled freezer bags in the freezer. To thaw I would microwave slowly, stirring frequently... ALWAYS taste before giving to baby in case there are hot spots. I know you are "supposed" to heat things gradually in warm water or whatever but honestly I didn't have time for that and found that 30-60 seconds stirring a lot was fine. Each cube is about 1oz in you need to know the amount your baby is eating... she would eat 2-3 cubes per meal which is about what a jar of baby food is.

Sweet Potato Puree

One sweet potato makes so much food! It saves so much money to make this meal. This can be done with a lot of different vegetables... I have made steamed carrots, squash, apples, pears, etc. this same way. With fruit, use less water or none at all.

- 1-2 Sweet Potatoes (depending on size and how much you want), peeled and cut into 1" cubes

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil in a pot with a steamer insert, or collapsable basket. Make sure the water isn't infiltrating the basket when it is in the pot. 
2. Reduce heat to a simmer and put the potatoes in the steamer basket. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender enough that if you pierce them with a fork they penetrate easily. 
3. Carefully transfer potatoes and 1 cup of the water from the pot to a blender and puree until smooth. Add more water from the pot gradually until you get the right consistency. Careful blending hot ingredients! They will expand so hold the lid. 
4. Store in ice cube trays.... up to 3 months in the freezer and 5 days in the fridge.

Pear and Spinach Puree

A sneaky way to add veggies... so tasty!

- 2 Pears, peeled and diced
- 1-2 Cups, baby spinach

1. Cook the pears the same way as the sweet potatoes above. Transfer to a blender and add the spinach... don't add water! Puree until smooth.
2. Store in ice cube trays.... up to 3 months in the freezer and 5 days in the fridge.

No-cook Banana, Pineapple, Avocado, Spinach Puree

- 1 Banana
- 1/2 Pineapple
- 1 Avocado
- 1 cup Baby Spinach
- Water/Milk

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender adding water/milk as needed for consistency. 
2. Store in ice cube trays.... up to 3 months in the freezer and 5 days in the fridge.

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