Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Homemade Baby Food


Since BK recently celebrated his half birthday, we decided it was time to start giving him some "real" food! I had always known I wanted to make his baby food myself, as opposed to buying the jars you'd find in a store. There are a few reasons for this:
  • I want to control what gets put into my baby's body. I'm making an effort to breastfeed for as long as possible, so I want him to have the most natural/organic solid food as well. 
  • It saves money. I would never think of buying non-organic jarred food, so it may not be a big cost savings compared to those, but the organic jarred food is definitely more expensive.
  • Better for the environment. Even if you recycle all those jars (or make crafts out of some of them) it's still kinda wasteful. Just think of what it takes for those companies to make those little jars!
  • It's not hard at all! I daresay it's even fun. I already have all the equipment I need, too. 
You probably have everything you need too, including ice cube trays for freezing/storage!

If you are on the fence about making your own baby food, let me persuade you with it's simplicity...
  1. Over the weekend, I go to the store and buy my organic produce. Then, I come home and whip up a few batches.. it only takes about an hour to make 32 oz of food! That's 16-32 meals, depending on how much you are feeding your little one.
  2. The fastest method, I've found, is to have something baking in the oven (like a butternut squash), and two pots bubbling on the stove. Just this past weekend I boiled down some dried organic split peas and steamed carrots while the squash was cooking. You can also puree a fruit that doesn't need to be cooked while waiting, like mango. 
  3. Once something is done, I throw it in my little food processor with some water and give it a whirl! It's usually done in moments, so then I pour the puree into my 2 oz BPA free plastic containers, and pop them in the freezer. Clean out the processor (or not, it's really not a big deal to mix the purees) and throw in the next food. 
  4. After the purees have frozen, I pop the food out of the containers and into a gallon sized bag that I label. Now the containers are ready to be filled again!
Image c/o Chocolate on My Cranium - but this is how my storage system looks as well
Now for the necessary equipment:
  • Steamer basket
  • Food processor or food mill
  • Ice cube trays or baby food storage containers
  • 1 hour a week
You can, of course, buy one of those fancy baby food maker things but my kitchen is tiny and I don't need to add another appliance I will only use for a short period. I have used them before though and I have to say they are quite convenient and easy to use.  

There are a ton of resources for baby food recipes, which I won't go into here, but this is a great website that I've used many times: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com

http://www.nurturebaby.com is another one that looks like it has good info. Please share your own baby food tutorials/recipes/resources!!!


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