I never would have imagined that making my own baby food could be so easy. I’ve been using the So Easy Baby Food Kit by Fresh Baby to select, make and freeze homemade purees for my son. Farmboy and I go to the local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings to pick out fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, then I go home to make and freeze his purees. Fresh Baby makes it so simple. The cookbook tells me what to feed based upon Farmboy’s age and gives me microwave instructions for cooking the fruits and vegetables. Most of the foods I’ve done so far cook in 5-10 minutes. The microwave uses the minimum liquid and cooking times necessary, which means maximum flavor and nutrients. Then I quickly spoon the puree into the freezer trays, and freeze over night. The next day, I pop the cubes out of the trays and store in labeled freezer bags. Each cube is approximately 1 oz of food, so I can easily portion out meals. The whole process takes me 30 minutes to an hour each week. Granted, that is mainly because I’m doing more than one fruit or vegetable each week and usually more volume than the recipe calls for. The book is actually designed so that making baby food takes less than 30 minutes each week. This way, I can skip a week or two and not worry about running out of puree. Needless to say, my freezer is stocked full of ziploc bags of frozen baby food.
Farmboy has really enjoyed trying all of these new foods. What can I say, my son likes to eat. So far we have tried nectarines, pears, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, apples and bananas. Sweet potatoes are the only things that he’s been less enthusiastic about, but he will eat them up when mixed with pears, bananas or apples. He also likes them when mixed with a little oatmeal cereal and breast milk. Mixing up the flavors has been a lot of fun because I love trying different combinations and seeing what goes together. The So Easy Baby Food recipe book also offers a lot of combination suggestions based upon age. It also acts as a scrapbook, so I can list dates that different foods were introduced and which combinations have been tried. I have learned that pears go with everything. In fact, I just had to make more pear puree this week. Bartlett pears are so juicy and sweet. Farmboy loves them. Plus, they work really well for thinning out thicker purees such as bananas and sweet potatoes. One lesson that I have learned: bananas should be fed fresh. I probably could puree and freeze them, but they turn black. Instead, I keep a couple fresh ones on the counter-top and slice off about 1/3 to feed to Farmboy. Then I mash it up with a fork. I can wrap the rest of the banana for later, but I usually eat it myself.
Farmoy was a little underweight at his last doctor’s appointment and I’m still having milk supply issues, so his doctor gave us permission to start feeding solids twice a day. I usually do a fruit in the morning and a vegetable around lunch time. That is, unless I’m introducing a new food, then I feed only that food for three days. He also gets an 8 oz bottle in the morning (I pump & he gets a bottle of 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 formula) and he nurses about every 2 1/2 hours throughout the day. I try to give him a puree either before his milk or about an hour after. I’ve never had a problem with him finishing his bottle, but he doesn’t always finish his fruit/veggies if it’s right after a bottle or nursing. I also try to time his solids around my meal times because he also wants whatever I’m eating. Of course, it means I end up eating after he does, but then he’s more satisfied and less upset that I’m not giving him what’s on my plate.
If’ you’ve ever been intimidated by the thought of making your own baby food, don’t be. It is simple and a great way to teach your children healthy eating habits. It is also very convenient for babysitters or daycare providers. I put a couple cubes for each meal in a plastic container and send it with my son to the sitter’s. The cubes can be kept in the fridge and microwaved in a bowl for about 30 seconds when he’s ready to eat. They can also be thawed in the fridge and fed cold. I also pack a little oatmeal cereal in case the purees need to be thickened.
Here’s a few pictures of the process:
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