Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Making Hommade Baby Food

Making your own homemade baby food takes a little bit of time but it is well worth the effort- not to mention less expensive! By making your baby's food you are not only saving money by preparing it yourself but there are less trips to town and less wasted food. Once you open a jar of baby food it is only good for a few days. I'll be the first to admit that I would open a jar, feed part of it, put it into the fridge and then forget about it. Or if my baby was especially hungry he or she may eat a jar and a half and then the second jar would get pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten. What a waste of money! All babies are not the same and so while 6 or 8oz. may work for some, it doesn't work for all.Making my baby's food has allowed me to create wholesome meals by using fresh, organic ingredients. My baby is benefiting from the nutrients he is getting rather than missing out on them from processed baby foods. Who knows how long that jar has been sitting on the shelf...or where the food even came from. Even organic baby foods have been over processed and a lot of them are difficult to digest because they haven't been prepared properly.
Here are my tips in making your own baby food.

Foods to feed:
6-8 months: organic liver, pureed meats, soup stocks, raw mashed fruits (banana, melon, avocado, mango,) cooked pureed fruits (apple, pear, peach, apricot,) cooked pureed vegetables (squash, sweet potato, carrots, beet, all cooked with butter or coconut oil,) small amounts of fermented foods (kefir, yogurt.)
8-10 months: Everything above, creamed vegetable soups, homemade stews (ingredients cut small or mashed,) cottage cheese, custard, and if your baby can finger foods then lightly steamed veggie sticks, bits of cheese, avocado or banana chunks.
10-12 months: Everything above, grains that are soaked (grains should not be fed before 1 year,) raw salad veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.) citrus fruits, whole eggs.

You can steam veggies like zucchini in a steamer basket on your stove or cook fruits like pears directly in a saucepan.Add the steamed vegetable/cooked fruit to a baby food maker, food processor or blender (don't forget to add the butter with the veggies!) and blend.While taste does play a part in whether a baby likes his or her food, the biggest factor is the smoothness or thickness. For first foods, babies like smooth pureed foods. Make sure that you blend your foods well so that the consistency is just right. If the baby food needs thickening you can add yogurt, bananas or peas. To thin out foods use breastmilk or formula.Once the food is ready, let it cool to room temperature before pouring it into an ice cube tray. Fill each cube to the top and place into the freezer for 4-6 hours.
Remove cubes from tray and store in an airtight container in the freezer. If you'd rather avoid the ice cube tray then you can place the food in clumps (if it's thick enough) onto a baking sheet and freeze it that way.When you need food simply pull out a cube and set it on a bowl on the counter. It will thaw and come to room temperature in 1-2 hours. If you need it sooner than that you can place it in a glass jar or small bowl and then place that jar into warm water.
One of the best things about making your own food is that you can determine how much food you feed at a meal. If your baby is a light eater then 1 cube works great. You can add another cube, or even a third to increase the amount of food you feed.
Enjoy your baby and feel good about the foods you are nourishing him with!


Anonymous said...

What an awesome idea...a little late for me, but great for everyone else!

I had a baby food mill, but it was manual. =) The one you have looks amazing. =)

Anonymous said...

When Kaycie was a baby, I made her food. And did it exactly like this........ in the ice cube trays. It worked so well!
Then Lindsey came along, and she wanted nothing to do with food until she was almost 10 months old. She refused to even try it.
So she was completely breast fed until then. And when she did start eating, it was very little and only certain things.
I'm glad I didn't push it with her. She is a healthy and energetic 3 year old now!

Leslie said...

i loved making my own baby food when my son was little. that was all he ate...along with brown rice. he was bigger when we started food because of a food allergy. now i get to do it again!!!

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Lisa- You are absolutely right! Mason just started solids and he is 8 months old. And even now, there are some days when he doesn't eat them. There is absolutely NO rush to start solids! It's unfortunate that so many Dr's push starting babies on food at such a young age- especially the cereals! Breastmilk is a perfect food and can sustain a baby (even a big one!) for quite a while.
Thanks for your post!

Tiffany - The Coconut Mama said...

I love making baby food for my sweet little girl! She wasn't interested in solids until 6 months. Now she is 10 months and some days she could BF all day long and not eat solids. She is beginning to enjoy food more and more though. I especially love that her two favorite things to eat are coconut butter and cod liver oil/butter oil =)

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