Thursday, May 10, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

I've been meaning to write this post for about the past three months.  We waited until my baby's six-month birthday to start him on solid foods.  We've started earlier with other babies, but now they're saying there's really no reason to start until 6 months of age, so that's what we did.  We did oatmeal first.  I ground up regular, whole oats in my food processor and then cooked them for baby M.  That was ok, but it's too much trouble to cook 1-2 tablespoons of food on a regular basis, so I never did homemade oats for him again.  Today he is 9 months old, so he's been having solid food for a good 3 months now!  :)

At first, I only fed him homemade baby food.  The photo above is the frozen little cubes I made for him.  You make and puree the food, freeze it in ice cube trays, and once frozen, stick them into ziplock bags.  Pictured below is the silicone ice cube tray I got from Amazon that is PERFECT for this!  Going from left to right (pic above): peaches, pears, peas, blueberry-pear, sweet potato (they have pale sweet potatoes here!), carrot, and plum.  He loves pretty much everything.  The plum is really tart, so I always mix that with something.  Sometimes I'll do carrots/pears/plums!  Mix them up!  Babies don't know that plums and carrots usually don't go together.  :)
Now that baby M is bigger and eating more and more foods, I only feed him homemade baby food every few days now.  I'm using store bought most of the time, gasp!  It's convenient and cheap, and he loves it.  His absolute favorite food right now is sweet potatoes, and it's SO much easier to go get 2 containers of it for $.90 than it is to buy a sweet potato, peel it, steam it, puree it, and freeze it.  Plus, he prefers the storebought sweet potato babyfood over my homemade sweet potatoes, for some weird reason!  BUT, other frutis and veggies are a lot easier to make babyfood out of.  A hand/stick blender is very handy to have on hand for this!  Don't forget to use only glass or ceramic if you are warming this in the microwave!

Anyway, making your own baby food is fun, very easy, and rewarding.  You know exactly what goes into every batch.  Want to use organic fruits?  Go for it!  I encourage every parent to try it at least once and see if it's something they like.  For the fruits, you decide if you want to peel or not.  I leave the peel on plums and pears.  I've never done nectarine, but plan to this summer.

You can also freeze pureed table food meals.  For instance, I made this beef stew recently.  At dinnertime, we pureed it up for baby M.  I froze his leftovers in my heart cube tray, and he'll enjoy those some other time.  Now, he's old enough that we're just lightly mashing things and not always pureeing them.  We had Taco Rice this week and he thoroughly enjoyed some smashed brown rice, bits of cheese, avocado, and spiced ground beef.  :)

Fruit Babyfood

1 fruit (peach, pear, plum, nectarine), peeled, if desired

1.  Wash and cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces and steam, in a steamer basket, over boiling water, until softened.  Puree in a blender, food processor, or using a stick/immersion blender, until smooth (to your preference).  You might need to add some water, depending on the fruit.  Serve or freeze in ice cube trays.  When solid, pop out into ziplock bags, label, and freeze.  

Fresh Veggie Babyfood
carrots, green beans, OR frozen peas (or a mixture)

1.  Wash and cut bigger veggies into bite-size pieces.  Steam, in a steamer basket, over boiling water, until softened (not long for peas).  Puree in a blender, food processor, or using a stick/immersion blender, until smooth (to your preference). You might need to add some water, depending on the veggies. Serve or freeze in ice cube trays. When solid, pop out into ziplock bags, label, and freeze.

Pear Blueberry Babyfood
1 fresh pear
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh

1.  If using frozen blueberries, let them thaw out in the fridge overnight.  You can drain if you want, but I like to keep the juices.  Wash, cut and steam pear, unless it is very ripe, and then you don't have to steam.  Puree the pear and blueberries together, until they reach your desired consistency.  Freeze in ice cube trays.  When thawed, if it is too thin, you can mix in some baby oatmeal or brown rice cereal to thicken it up. 
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idealeon said...

That's so cool- I've been wanting to make some homemade baby food but never got to it. Now that I know how, I have no excuses. I've even got the same ice cube tray! (I used it to make heart shaped PB bars for my husband.)

MelindaRD said...

Nice work! Yes, the current rec's are 6 months. I plan to make baby food too. I always suggest the ice cube tray method, but I love that you went with the cute hearts. I got the cook book out in the mail today. Gotta love MPS-although I have a feeling it will take forever to get to the island!

What A Dish! said...

Thanks for the comments ladies!