I am not what I would consider a “granola” mom, nor am I a completely a “store bought” mom. I consider myself to be a, “what works in the moment mom”; an “are they healthy, fed, and loved?” mom. My four year old eats way too many fruit snacks, watched entirely too much iPad and has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with happy meals. Those are not things I am necessarily proud of, but being a mom is tough work, and we have to balance what is best for our little people with what will get the job done. Between working full-time, caring for our little family, and taking sometime for myself, there are times when things get stretched a little thin. One thing that I have found feeds my overachiever soul and also may be a little bit “granola” is making homemade baby foods.
I, like any mom, love all the milestones that the first year of life brings, and as a new mom with the Introduction to Foods milestone looming, I turned to my trusted friend Google to tell me what to do first. As so often happens, I found myself quickly falling into a rabbit hole of all things baby food. Everything I read made it sound like it would be so easy to whip up these delectable purees that my baby was sure to love. After a quick trip to the grocery store stocking up on all the best organic veggies I could get my hands on I dove headfirst into the world of homemade baby food.
I’ll be honest I was sure this was going to be a Pinterest fail, but it actually was as easy as everything I read made it out to be. My husband didn’t find me sitting on the floor in the kitchen with every pot on the stove and puree splattered everywhere (this has happened before when I tried replicating something I saw on Epicurious). My baby seemed to like most of the foods I made, and I felt good knowing that I had made her foods and knew exactly what was in them.
For those of you interested in joining me on this journey, here is my make-your-own-baby-food guide – and there are ONLY 5 steps!
Wash, Chop, Steam, Blend, and Freeze
Wash: This is pretty self-explanatory make sure that you are washing your foods thoroughly.
Chop: Cut foods into small enough pieces to have them ready for steaming. Some fruits won’t need to be steamed so make sure to chop those into sizes reasonable for your blender/food processor.
Steam: When steaming your cleaned and chopped food just throw them in a pot with about a half cup of water, cover, and let the steam go to work for about 10 minutes.
Blend: Once your foods are steamed and ready, throw them in a blender/food processor and let it do the heavy lifting. If your foods are not the right consistency add some water to thin things up.
Freeze: I personally love using an ice cube tray to freeze my purees. This allows me to have more manageable amounts of food to deal with. I am able to reheat just the right amount to meet my baby’s ever changing demands. Also once I know that my little one is adjusted to the various fruits and vegetables I am able to mix the cubes to offer more variety.
Bonus tip #1 I have found that silicone ice cube trays are so much easier to manipulate than the hard plastic ice trays.
Bonus tip #2 Needing to get something on the highchair tray fast? Check out the organic frozen foods. Most of those are already chopped and have been flash frozen so won’t take nearly as long to get to a place that they are ready to blend.
In addition to knowing exactly what is in my baby’s food as well as that it was made with a little bit of love, the best part about making my own baby food is hands down the cost. I have priced baby food at the grocery store and most of the time it can run for about a $1.00 a serving. That can add up quickly when you have a hungry little caterpillar like I do. A one pound bag of organic carrots is about $1.50, do you know how many servings you can get from those carrots? Me either, but I am sure that it is more than just one. That is a win in my book.
Now that you have been armed with the basics there are so many resources online for coming up with great mixtures and new ways to combine your purees to keep things interesting for your baby. Share with us what are your go to baby food recipes?
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