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Topic: Raise a Foodie Baby - How to Make & Store Baby Food  (Read 1147 times)
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Banga
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« on: January 24, 2012 05:35:22 AM »

I knew way before my son Jude was even born that I wanted to make my own baby food. My mother always did and she swore it was easier and cheaper than buying jarred food. As usual, she was right. Making Jude's food has proven to be far less expensive than buying it and with a little planning, it takes very little time. It easily fits into our hectic schedule (being a mama, running an online shop, and working part time makes for a busy chica!). I love that I can control everything that goes into his food and it is so much fun to introduce him to new things. So far, Jude loves almost everything! Avocado was not a big hit, strangely enough, but once he can have hot sauce and cilantro, I bet that'll change.

Of course there are a hundred products on the market for baby food prep and storage, and many are wicked expensive. You don't need to run out and buy a Baby Bullet or a Brezza to make baby food, though. They claim to streamline the process, but really, it's not all that difficult of a process anyway. All you need is:
- a pot
- a blender (an immersion blender is awesome!)
- and an ice cube tray.

Really. A few good resources don't hurt. Try the Wholesome Baby Food site for great ideas for recipes, info on food allergies, and tips for introducing foods. I also love the book Super Baby Food. It also has tons of recipes, as well as lots of money saving tips, but it's been instrumental in helping me figure out portion sizes and feeding schedules for Jude. The sample menu plans are awesome. I highly recommend this book!

I try to make as many fresh fruits and vegetables as I can, but some are just far too time consuming (no way will I be shelling peas!) or are not in season. Those I buy in the frozen organic section. Spinach, peas, green beans, mangoes and peaches are all ready in literally minutes. Fresh vegetables obviously need more prep and cook time. Take a free hour and do a big batch or two at once!

Basic Baby Puree
Ingredients:
This method works well for fresh:
Sweet potatoes
Winter squash
Carrots
Apples
Pears
Plums
Peaches

Preparation:
Peel, chop into small pieces, and add to a pot with some water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until fork tender. Blend in the pot, or transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until pureed. I don't bother straining as enough water helps make any fruit or veggie smooth. Transfer puree to ice cube trays (they fit about 2 Tbls. per cube) and freeze. Transfer cubes to a ziploc bag labeled with the date and food type.

That's it! Done and done. Once you get into the swing of it, the real fun begins. Adding spices, making interesting flavor combos, and changing up the texture makes for interesting meal times. Currently Jude is really digging baked apples with cinnamon, oatmeal, and yogurt for breakfast. I don't blame him, it's fricking delicious!

So seasoned mamas, what do you like to cook for you baby?
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jennique
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012 06:43:59 AM »

So when you want to serve some of your frozen food do you let it thaw over night in the refrigerator?
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~~jenny
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012 06:53:41 AM »

I use the defrost setting on my microwave to defrost as I need it. It takes about a minute that way. You can certainly transfer frozen cubes to the fridge to thaw in advance, but I'm not that organized Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012 12:37:19 PM »

I was lucky enough to take care of my grandson when his mother returned to work. So I took care of him from the age of 3 months til he was a year old when he went into  "baby" care with other kids. Since I was with him from 6am til around 4pm I'd usually cook his veggies during the day maybe once or twice a week. Just cooked them in water or soup til soft then let them cool. Then I'd put the vegetables into little 1 1\2 portion jars with lids and put them in the freezer. Cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, rice, broccoli, etc. What ever was in season. Bought fresh from the market. Meats "Momma" would cook once a week or two when he started meats and same thing. Cooled then put into the freezer. Just before I'd go home, I'd decide what I want to fix him for lunch the next day and just put it into the fridge. Fruits we get mostly straight from the fields so I'd usually just mash them at meal time. Bananas, mango's, bought apples. (He wasn't  too crazy about avocados either.)Breakfast would usually be prepared tahina  (diluted with some water and lemon juice. A great source of iron) along with the rest of his meal. If I forgot to take out food from the freezer then I'd just nuke it for about half a minute, then mash. Luckily he is a very patient little boy. (not like my kids.lol).
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012 08:29:13 AM »

Your daughter is so lucky to have you! I wish my mom lived closer so she could watch Jude a few days a week Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012 08:17:01 AM »

Thank you so much for saying so. It is nice to hear. Actually it's my DIL and I've learned to keep a healthy distance. They know where I am. I'd love to come help but after our Purim I'm going across the country to housesit and babysit my grandcat. Yep cat. (But my other son's.lol)
Now'll be my turn to eat frozen food.lol.
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