The little one is sleeping and so I'll take this chance to write about one of my favorite hobbies as of late, making baby food. (I know that sounds weird, but it really is fun.) Ever since a Best of Enrichment at the beginning of this year when I learned about making my own baby food I have been excited about it. It's easy and saves money. Instead of spending about 55 cents on a container of baby food, (which really begins to add up when baby is eating 2 to 4 jars a day!) that same amount can go a lot farther when making your own baby food.
Here are some of the basics for making baby food at home:
What you need:
-a blender or food processor, or food mill
-fruits and vegetables (and later meats and pasta) Good fruits to start with include apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes. Vegetables to try include asparagus tips, avocados, carrots, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash. You can use fresh, frozen, and even canned, although fresh or frozen is preferable.
How to do it:
-Bake, boil, or steam the fruit of vegetable until soft.
-Place pieces in the blender and use water from the cooking in the puree.
-Blend to the desired consistence, as you baby gets older you can blend for less time and allow the food to be chunky.
-Pour into an ice cube tray to freeze.
-Once frozen transfer to plastic baggies in the freezer. (bought a few of the Gerber baby foods when we went on a trip and saved the containers, so I now put a few ice cubes in each container in the freezer, which works great.) Fruits and Veggies frozen like this will last 6-8 months.
-When ready to serve dethaw in the fridge, on the counter, or in the microwave. (I usually take what my son will be eating the following day out of the freezer each night and put it in the fridge.)
-When serving you can mix with formula, breast milk, or baby cereal to the desired consistency. Make sure to test the temperature of the food if you dethawed in the microwave!)
-Wait 3-5 days after introducing a new food to make sure baby shows no signs of allergies.
-As baby gets older you can combine foods into purees, such as mixed veggies, rice and bean, chicken and potatoes, etc.
So why do I love it?
-I can feed my baby a variety of foods that he other wise would not get in commercial baby foods, I can make the food to fit his needs regarding consistency, it costs less, I enjoy shopping for deals on produce, and the food looks and smells better than commercial baby food! :)
Some great resources:
"Blender Baby Food" by Nicole Young- a great book that I love! I checked it out from the Provo Library and it is full of 125 recipes for making baby food in the blender.
Daily Baby Food Recipes: just hit refresh each time you want a new recipe!
PS: If you live near a Sunflower Farmer's Market I totally suggest that you go...their produce is amazingly cheap. Like this week they have avocados 3 for a dollar!