Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baby Food 101 - Tutorial

*Sigh*  My baby girl is growing up.  I took her for her 9 month pictures on Sunday.  Granted they were horrible as it was too close to nap time and she didn't smile in a single one, but I will still cherish those photos of her quickly passing first year.  One thing that I have done with both my girls is make their own baby food.   I would like to say I started doing it because I only wanted the most nutritious, organic, and fresh food to grace their perfect lips.  In actuality I just did it because it was easy and less expensive.  And I finally had someone in my household who would not complain about what I was serving for dinner!  Emily's daycare provider, Donna, got me started with the basics and then I let my imagination and what was in season do the rest.  With Lindsay nearing the one-year mark, my baby food making endeavors will soon come to a close.  Since Matt does most of the cooking, you think I would be happy with one less thing to do, but I'm not!  Since breastfeeding didn't work for me (let's leave that story for another blog post), this has been a way for me to feel connected with Lindsay and that I'm directly providing for her.  I know this is all in my head as she doesn't care or feel any more connected with me when eating from a can or the Magic Bullet but it makes me feel good so that's all that matters!

Here's a quick tutorial on how to make your own baby food. 

I went to Harris Teeter and got a bunch of different vegetables and fruits.  Enough to satisfy my little foodie for a couple of weeks.    

I like to get the prep work done first so I can have fun making lots of noise blending stuff with no interruptions later.  Peel fruits such as apples, pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.  Some people like to make their baby food with the peel on since it contains the most nutrients.  I've found its pretty hard to get these chopped little enough so my babies wouldn't choke on them.  Dice and steam the vegetables.  Fruit rarely has any prep work other than peeling.

Such a pretty artist's palate!  Have fun mixing the different fruits together (as long as your little one has already had them before).  Always introduce new foods by themselves so you can judge if they have an allergic reaction.   

Puree fruit in food processor.  I am partial to the Magic Bullet and absolutely love the small portions in allows me to make. It's also nice being able to keep the cap on and pop it in the fridge if I know I am going to use it later that day.  Then spoon the mixture into ice cube trays.  Each ice cube space is about one ounce.
Pop them in the freezer. 

The vegetable artist's palate!  Please note that if you put carrots in the Magic Bullet, not much is going to happen.  You have to add water to most vegetables as they lack the amount that fruit naturally has.  To me this allows for so customization according to what stage your child is in.  For young eaters, add enough water for it to be very diluted or for those with a few teeth, have the food a little more thick.  I just add a little at a time until I get where I want the consistency be. 

Once frozen, pop out the individual cubes, ziploc bag them, and label with what food it is and when you made it.  You can keep baby food frozen in the freezer for about 3 months.  In the mornings I take out 2-3 cubes, put it in a Tupperware and let it thaw in the fridge for dinner.  Voila!

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