Monday, March 29, 2010

Make Your Own Baby Food REVISED

When my second born was eating baby food, I did a post on how to make your own baby food. It can save you a ton of money, and it is very healthy for your baby. Today I went to the 6 month doctor appointment for my third child. I explained my process for making baby food to the pediatrician, and asked her opinion. She said that it was great that we were making our own baby food, which leaves out the preservatives of jarred food. She also added a new thought...use the microwave! I asked her if we were losing too many of the nutrients by steaming the fruit and vegetables and her suggestion was that the best way to cook the food is actually to microwave the food so that you hold in the most nutrients! Sounds easy, right?

Healthy, cheap, and very convenient. These are reasons to consider making your own baby food if you are in that phase with your itty bitty(s).

Okay, so here is a revised version of the post I had done before, with the revisions done in bold.
Great foods to start with are apples, pears, peaches, zucchini, squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, yams, etc. Steps for each are very similar.

1. Peel (if desired) and cut into chunks. Keeping the peel on will give the baby more nutrients, and is actually preferable.

2. Cook in boiling water until very soft, use a steamer, or zap the vegetables or fruit in the microwave until it is tender and easily pierced with a fork.

3. Puree in a blender or a food processor with a little water. If I am having a hard time blending all the chunks I sometimes add a little extra water. (Extra tip: I sometimes decide to add a little baby cereal to the blended food to make it thicker, or more substantial.)
4. Pour into ice cube trays, freeze, bag into freezer bags labeled with what is inside and the date you made it. Each food will last about 6 months.

Three ice cubes are about the amount in an average baby food jar. Keely will eat two to three most times. When it comes time to feed her I just pop a couple of "ice cubes" into a bowl and microwave them, usually for about 30-40 seconds. If it is a little too warm I just let it cool some before feeding her. Keely loved pears, peaches, and zucchini the most. I made peaches today and she cooed at me the whole time she ate them.
Other great foods to start with are bananas and avocados which are already softened when they are ripe enough. When the banana is good and brown mash that thing up with a fork and your baby will get dessert! :) Our doctor suggested that a 6-8 month old might be ready to enjoy the following foods: applesauce, cooked cereals, bagels, arrowroot cookies, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, fish , tuna, yogurt, cheese, soft chicken livers, teething biscuits, hard-boiled egg yolk, natural juice, and toast strips (should be cut into small pieces and should be either soft or very hard for teething. If it is a medium-crumbly texture, the baby may choke)
If you have had the joy of feeding a baby you probably already know that half of the food ends up on them as well as on the floor/ highchair, and sometimes they won't even eat most of the baby food. When I used to feed Preston baby food from a jar it would always bother me to have to throw the extra food out when he wouldn't eat very much. I have found that when I make my own and Keely just nibbles it does not bother me. It feels good to take care of my baby in this way. There is something very rewarding about seeing your baby enjoy food that you prepared. Try it and see for yourself. Then, tell us about it.

OR, if you have already tried making your own food, what have you made and how did your little ones like it? We'd love to hear from you.


Ethiopianmomma said...

We used to make sweet potatoes and squash into babyfood for Samuel. We flavored it with spices which we learned helps kids become fans of flavor earlier on! Samuel loved his babyfood and I really enjoyed making it for him.

Drea said...

I always read that microwaving is not as good as baking or steaming.
Scroll down to the "microwave part".