Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Baby Food

I have been asked lately how we make our baby food for Ethan.
Well I should warn you.
It is simple.  Very, very simple.
No recipes, no measurements, and its pretty cheap.

I have come to find that in my experience with motherhood, I am a little cuckoo, with my cloth diapers and all, and this surely could fall into that category.  But if you enjoy cooking, as do I, you may find this right up your alley!!

I steam everything, puree everything and store everything all at one time, which helps cut down on making multiple messes and it also keeps us stocked for two+ weeks.
I have been doing this since Ethan was four months and still continue it today.

I make two sets of pureed food.
One vegetable (a mixture of broccoli, spinach, edamame beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.) and one fruit (also a mixture of bananas, pears, apples, blueberries and anything else that might be in season).
*I have been reading some studies that say that some frozen veggies and fruits are actually really fresh.  I normally don't buy frozen food for us to eat, but they have a large variety and you can buy things that aren't generally in season to mix together.
Oh and also, I only started combining groups of food after I knew he wasn't allergic to them.  I started off pureeing smaller amounts of single foods in my wonderful Magic Bullet. (Thanks mom!!)

I also take every opportunity I get to go by the local farmers market or use what comes from our garden.  But most of the time I end up buying the off-brand, economy size bag of food and store it until I need it again.  You never know with me...

Ok, so lets begin.
I start by boiling water under the steam insert which has all of the vegetables or fruit. I don't steam bananas, but everything else goes right in.  Portionally speaking, I would do a head of broccoli, a package or bunch of spinach, two cups of peas, but again I eyeball all of this.  I know that in the end it is going to be blended together.  So feel free to add what you think you need and you can always adjust it next time.
I don't time this process, I just use the fork tender method.
I stick everything with a fork and if it is really soft, it is done.

Once tender, I transfer everything to my food processor.  You want to use something that will puree everything, leaving no chunks behind.  Especially for younger babies.
I start with adding about 1/2 cup water and turn the processor on.
I add water if it is too thick, just enough to allow it to spin very smoothly.

While the veggies are being pureed, I wash my steamer and throw in the fruits.
Here we have two apples, about two cups blueberries and two peaches.  When these are done, I will blend them with two bananas.
You can be super creative with this, adding or subtracting anything to accommodate you or your babies taste.  I have found that these combinations work for us and I am constantly switching food in and out.

Once they are all blended together I pour half into a container for the freezer and half for the fridge, so for me, a total of four.
When I am ready to feed him, I grab one, use about 1/4 cup of food and mix it with his baby cereal.
You can try this method if you are in a pinch and don't want to head to the grocery store late one night in your p.j.'s or you can use it all the time.

I seem to notice that I talk type a lot and I have also noticed that I may have clouded up a very simple thing.  So if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!!

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