Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adventures in Babyfood

My 6 month old daughter has recently started eating solids.  And I have a confession to make, my first 2 children ate commercially made baby food.  I know, it's so not crunchy granola mama of me (but remember I'm the one who uses disposable diapers, Jill's the one who uses cloth).  Now that this is my 3rd baby, I've decided to go a different route.  I know it's easy to do, I've just never done it much before...I'm going to make my own baby food.  As much as possible I want to avoid anything that jacks up the price of something edible just because it has the word "baby" on the jar.  Am I going to be 100%?  Probably not.  I have no idea how to make baby cereal other than what is in the store, but the other stuff looks pretty easy.  The first foods that she has had have been.  Take bananas.  I already buy bananas for the rest of us.  How difficult is it to break off a piece and mash it with a fork until smooth?  Not very, and she loves it.  Okay, maybe that isn't the best example because pre-mashed banana is one thing I've never bought in a jar for my kids.  But how about applesauce?  I always have a jar of organic applesauce in the house, it's much the same as what is in the baby food aisle, but without the high price tag.  I also make a great applesauce that my kids love and I'm sure she will love too.
So then I tried my hand at basic veggies.  Peas and carrots.  Pretty easy, boil them and puree them.  I have a hand blender, it works like a charm.   Peas can be pureed with the a little bit of the water you cooked them in.  With carrots you have to watch out for nitrates, so discard the water (add a little fresh water if you need help getting the puree smooth).  Those veggies are now freezing in ice cube trays as I type, ready to be popped into airtight ziplock bags tomorrow.
I'm looking forward to the food possibilities that I can make on my own: squash, green beans, avacado, peaches...The world of fruit and veggies looks pretty good right now.  I don't know why I thought this was a lot of work.  It's a little later on when I try my hand at meats that I'm wondering about.  How finely do they puree?  Any tricks and tips out there?
One interesting side note is that of my picky 3 year old eater.  He surprised the heck out of me when he asked for a chunk of banana yesterday, and then actually ate it.  Remember this is the child that refuses all fruit and veggies in their natural form and I usually end up hiding in something for him.  I'm wondering if the sibling jealousy of watching his baby sister get attention over eating food is getting to him?  I'm kinda hoping the answer is yes.


  1. We made about 80% of Ben's food and used jars when we ran out of our supply or when we were traveling. I found that making big batches at a time then freezing it, worked really well for us.

    Our favourite was a 'chicken dinner' puree that we froze. It was one of Ben's favourites and was a mix of chicken, sweet potatoes and a bit of herbs.

    I played around with the texture and just made it to be smooth. We did the usual pears, apple and blueberries. Single or mixed together. Looking back, it was a lot of fun and so easy once we had frozen bags of baby food pucks to dish out.

  2. For meat, get a food mill and make lots of stews. A food mill is this little hand held thing that grinds meat up really fine. It is great with soft, well cooked meats, or with all the ingredients of a stew, too.

    I'm actually super lazy this time around. Since Emma is not into purees (she likes chunkier food) I've just been giving her rice or noodles or mashed whatever-we're-eating, and supplementing with cooked and pureed veggies and soft, mashed or finely chopped fruit. And cheerios, of course.




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