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Doesn’t making your own baby food sound like such a chore. Isn’t it so easy and convenient to just buy the premade baby foods, pop them open and feed your baby? When I had my baby shower for my son I had registered for a baby bullet and had all intentions of using it. I did a few times but I had such a picky eater with that one (from the beginning!) It was hard to know what he would eat. When I say picky eater I don’t just mean he turned his nose up to green beans and squash. I mean this kid wouldn’t even take a bottle from day one or a binky. He was exclusively breast fed (this momma had NO breaks for 18 months). He went straight from the boob to sippy cups, which was nice in the fact that I didn’t have to fight him with getting rid of bottles but it was exhausting. I have dealt with my fair share of picky eaters as I had previously worked with children with disabilities teaching them life skills for about ten years, so I know picky eaters.
Because of my sons extreme pickness he was diagnosed as being anemic at about 8 months. While breast milk is the best thing for young developing babies, as they get older it can’t provide all of the needed nutrients they need to develop properly. Because of his eating habits and the anemia he didn’t bother to even attempt to crawl. He sat there really good! While that is good for mom’s sanity and getting things done around the house it wasn’t beneficial to him. His lack of crawling and development in that area led to him also being delayed in his speech development. At ten months old I enrolled him in an infant and toddler program offered through our state at no cost to us. With getting his eating on track and occupational therapy and physical therapy we were able to get him right on track before he was three.
Food plays such an essential role in our lives. When I was younger I wasn’t really aware of the huge role that food had in our bodies (I knew my mom made me eat my vegetables but she didn’t know how essential they were either). While I am not perfect by any means ( my kids still get corn dogs and macaroni and cheese ) but I am taking steps to learn about food and how it relates to our development and function of our bodies. This is something that I am striving to learn everyday. I am taking nutrition classes and changing my habits and well….learning from my mistakes. I believe it is our duty as parents to teach this to our children and future generations. If you don’t come from a family of cookers like me this maybe a little more difficult but I am here to help you.
The truth about making your own baby food is that you are preparing your little one to eat what you eat and how you eat. By making my own baby food for my daughter it has made me more conscious about what I am eating as well. It’s a win win for everyone. To avoid what happened with my son I have been making home made baby food for my daughter for about six months now and to my surprise it really isn’t as difficult or as time consuming as I once thought it was. I can make about a week’s worth of food for her in about 15 minutes. That’s less time than it takes me to load the kids in the car, drive to the store, get the baby food, checkout and return home. This to me is now more convenient! Here is a break down of how and why I make home made baby food.
What you need to get started.
2. Blender, food processor, immersion hand blender or Magic Bullet Baby Bullet “>
3. Pots and knifes
4. Storage containers, ice cube tray, baby bullet containers, or squeeze
First you will need the ingredients you plan to use. What flavors of baby food do you want to make? For new eaters you will probably want to start with single basic and pure foods like just sweet potato or just spinach. For Your step 2 eaters you will probably want to start making combination foods such as sweet potato, apple and carrot. You can buy them fresh or frozen at your local grocery store or farmer’s markets.
First wash, peel, chop and dice your ingredients as needed. We will stick with sweet potato and apple for this post, well because it’s my daughter’s favorite. Wash all ingredients first. For this recipe you will need to peel the sweet potato and chop them into pieces as even as you can get them. Next take your apple and core it then cut it into pieces the same size as your sweet potatoes. Cutting everything the same size will give you an even and consistent cook on everything in your pot.
Add some water and all of your ingredients to a pot. You will then boil everything until it is soft and tender. You should be able to easily stick a fork into both your sweet potatoes and apples.
Next all you do is add your ingredients into your baby bullet, food processor or blender and blend to the consistency your baby is eating. For chunkier or “step 2″ foods you will add less juice (you can also use breastmilk) from the pot and not puree the food as long as your ” step 1 ” foods.
After your food is blended or pureed to the consistency needed you will then put it into whatever storage container you choose to use. I’ve cube trays are perfect one ounce servings. If you do use an ice cube tray I suggest freezing them then popping them into freezer bags for longer and fresher keeping.
That’s it guys five steps!
Store for later
I spent less than five dollars on this and got about 15 meals for my baby!
Baby food companies have made great strides in attempting to put out the purest products but the truth is that they have to have some kind of preservative in their food to make it last on the shelves. Many contain tomato paste or some sort of acidity but there are still many that I can’t even pronounce. Babies have such sensitive stomachs as it is. Babies need pure foods. Actually we all do but that’s another subject.
Making your own baby food doesn’t have to be hard or difficult by any means. It can be as simple as mashing up a banana or avocado in a bowl or blending up what you are already having for dinner.
Many times before I put away the leftovers from our dinner I will take some and blend it up in my baby bullet then add it to my freezer stock pile of baby food. By doing this along with the batch cooking of baby food I then create a nice variety of food and then am able to give my daughter well balanced meals.
When making your own baby food you want to think of balance. They need protein, fruits, vegetables and starch. When you purchase premade baby food you probably do this already. I have found that some things puree better than other (spaghetti didn’t do so well but soups and casseroles turn out well almost everytime). You may have to play around with some and see what works best for you and baby. For more ideas of what to make check out my baby food ideas post.
Lets just be honest for a second here. Have you ever bought a chicken broth baby food and smelled it? I have, it made me want to throw up….and I’m supposed to feed that to my baby? Ummm, no thank you! I can blend up a batch of chicken noodle soup leftovers and freeze it and to tell you the truth when I pull it out to feed my baby, I would still eat it. And think about the squeeze pouches that contain yogurt. Why do you need to refrigerate your yogurt but not theirs?
You are preparing your little one to one day eat meals with you made by you so why not start at the earliest ages? Give homemade baby food a try. You may find that it really isn’t as hard as you might have thought and you may even become obsessed with it as much as I have!
Do you make baby food at home? Please share some of your little ones favorite recipes in the comments. I would also love to hear what you have to say after you give homemade baby food a try.
Until next time,