Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

So as some of you may have deduced, we welcomed a baby into our lives earlier this year.  P will be 6 months old tomorrow (OMG!) and we're having the time of our lives with our little princess.

At P's 4 month appointment, her pediatrician said we could start solids if we wanted.  I knew from the moment of conception (ha!) that I'd make my own baby food.  Then when breast feeding didn't work out, I was even more determined to do so so that I cold control exactly what good, nutritious foods my daughter was eating.  It also doesn't hurt that I clearly love to cook and am a total foodie so it felt natural for me to do so.

Let me be honest - making baby food is my newest obsession.  I get so excited when I think of a fruit or veggie I haven't made yet for P and CAN make for her.  Watching her try new foods is so very much fun as the husband and I try to guess "is that her 'I like this!' face?"

We started with avocados, which were a hit and from then we've been full steam ahead.  Girlfriend eats better than her daddy and I do most nights ;) By her 6 month appointment P will have tried:

green beans
sweet potatoes
butternut squash
acorn squash
yellow squash

I'm proud of what I've provided her with - nutritious food in a range of colors, textures, and flavors.  By making her food, I've been able to combine her food for interesting and new combinations and I can't wait to add yogurt, meat, spices and legumes into the fold.

Lots of moms and moms to be ask me how I've make the food and really, it's much, much more simple than most think.  I either bake or steam the flesh of the food (the exception to this being avocados, bananas, and kiwis - they can be eaten raw at this age) and then throw it into the food processor.  I don't thin any of my purees before freezing because sometimes freezing can change the consistency of the puree ever so slightly.  I have more control over the texture when it's thawed if it's not thinned out.

Seriously - it is THAT easy. And, as she gets older, we'll do less purees and more finger foods - chunks of baked sweet potatoes, slices of avocado.  The goal here is to keep it as easy and healthy as possible.

As far as which foods I've baked... my sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, and pumpkin have all been baked before pureeing   I just slice these down the middle, scoop out the seeds, rub a tiny bit of oil onto the flesh, and bake cut side down for roughly 60 mins.  After cooling, I scoop the flesh into the bowl of the food processor and let it do it's thing.

The majority of her food (pears, apples, peas, mangos, carrots, beets, zucchini, broccoli, plums, asparagus, peaches, yellow squash, eggplant, green beans) have been steamed after it's been rid of it's peel and any core that may exist.  I use a steamer basket and a pot of boiling water - steam until tender and puree.

As far as the homemade oatmeal is concerned, it is a little more labor intensive than opening a box of baby cereal but I figured if I was going to DIY the rest of the food, why not the cereal too?! For this, I dump some (not measured) traditional oats (NOT quick cooking) into the food processor.  Turn it on and let it run until it makes a fine powder.  Then I measure out 1/4 cup of oat powder and dump it into 1 cup of boiling water.  Whisk it continuously for 10 mins over low heat until a thick, porridge consistency is formed.

As for storage, I measure out the puree into 1 oz portioned cubes.  To do this, I freeze in ice cube trays then once the cubes are hardened (note - prunes will not solidify into a cube - weird, right?) I dump them into quart sized freezer bags that are labeled with what it is and the date.  As a general rule of thumb, purees are good for roughly 3 months before the nutritional value begins to break down.

If you could't tell, I really love making P's food (I just dedicated a whole post to it... yet again :) Check out P's blog for more of the same: and I'm hoping that by exposing her to lots of delicious flavors, we'll have a little foodie on our hands in no time!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Go mom!!! I'm not sure I have it in me, but I so want to try!