January 29, 2016

Homemade Baby Food


Homemade Baby Food

When I had my first baby, I made most of his baby food homemade. As I have mentioned before, I had a lot of free time during his naps. When I was pregnant with my second child, I told myself I wasn’t going to have time to make homemade baby food for this baby, so I didn’t even bother trying when it came time to start feeding her solid foods. However, one day I was feeding her Gerber apples. She didn’t really seem to like them. I smelt them and I was disgusted! You would think that applesauce would be one of the yummiest baby foods out there! I tried a bite, and sure enough, it was disgusting. “Oh man,” I thought, “I guess I am going to have to start making homemade baby food again.” So that Sunday, I got to work and made a large variety of baby food for her. And the apples were delicious! They tasted like real applesauce (imagine that!). Surprisingly, it only took my about 2 1/2 hours on a Sunday afternoon to make a month’s worth of baby food. Not too bad, right?!

Many people get intimidated at the thought of making homemade baby food. But I promise, it does not take as much as you think! As long as you have room in your freezer, you can make about a month’s worth of baby food in about 2 1/2 hours. Why make homemade baby food? Well, besides the taste factor as I mentioned above, homemade baby food is cheaper and healthier. I saw a study (that I can’t seem to find now) that said babies who eat homemade baby food are more likely to prefer fresh, whole food as opposed to canned, processed food. Plus, your baby will be introduced to a greater variety of textures. Store bought baby food all seems to have the same perfectly smooth texture. But it is important for babies to experience a wide variety of textures. You can also choose the ingredients in your own homemade baby food. You can grow or purchase organic produce and meats. You can choose to put in herbs and spices to continue expanding baby’s taste palette. And it is much cheaper to make your own baby food if you buy produce that is in season.

Right now I have the following baby food in my freezer: chicken made withorganic chicken stock, pink Himalayan sea salt, and cracked pepper; organic butternut squash, carrots, organic peas, raspberry/bananas, blueberry/bananas, applesauce, pears, sweet potatoes, ground beef with beef stock and spices, organic spaghetti squash, and green beans. I mix and match some of these each day to create meals. I will mix ground beef with butternut squash and rice cereal for dinner. I will mix sweet potatoes with chicken. The possibilities are endless. I do buy baby food to supplement for foods that aren’t in season right now (like peaches,) so that my baby gets to try a wide variety of food.

For most baby food, you can simply cut up your produce, steam it, and blend it with liquid (such as breastmilk or water). Some food doesn’t need to be steamed, like bananas and raspberries. Simply mix the two together and blend in a blender. For meats, I usually cook them as I normally cook meat for my family and then put them in a blender with stock or broth. Visit http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/ for tons of recipes and ideas.

A couple of tips I have learned through trial and error:

Use sturdy ice cube trays like these.

I used the blue ones you can get at the dollar store, and they are impossible to get the baby food out. I have broken a few trays trying to pop the baby food out.  These white trays break up the cubes really easily.

If you choose to use breastmilk as your mixing liquid, make sure you take out your baby food the night before so that it can unthaw because you won’t be able to put babyfood that has been mixed with breastmilk in the microwave. I only use water for this reason. I forget to put out my baby food the night before and it just makes my mornings more complicated when I try to unthaw the baby food in the bottle warmer. I like to be able to quickly take them out of the freezer and pop them in the microwave.





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