Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Making Your Own Baby Food

Baby Ashleigh

I guess I should start out by saying I'm not planning on making any baby food in the near future.  So, there's no hidden announcement in this post LOL!  But, recently I had a conversation with a coworker whose little one is getting ready to start solids.  Speaking with her brought back wonderful memories of being in the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon making up batches of baby food for the week.  Making my own baby food was not only enjoyable, but also very easy to fit into my schedule as a working mom.  Usually just an hour over the course of the weekend was all the time needed! 

Baby Clayton

When Ashleigh was a baby, we used store-bought jarred baby food.  But, there were a couple reasons I decided to try homemade baby food with the boys.  (1) Quality - by making my own baby food, I had complete control over what was going into the food, and thus what was going into those little tummies!  No additives, no sugar, no salt and I could use the best quality fruits and vegetables available.  Plus, the taste of my homemade baby food was far better than the jarred!  My homemade baby food actually tasted like the vegetables themselves.  I sometimes wonder if that's why the boys love vegetables so much now that they're older. (2) Cost -  buying fruits and vegetables in season or on sale helped to keep the cost of making baby food low.  In addition, I was using the same fruits and vegetables the rest of the family was eating, so there was no need to buy anything extra.  

Baby Reed with Daddy's Cleveland Browns cap!

There are some cute gadgets on the market now for making baby food.  Having my Vitamix sure would have been nice back then!  But, I made do with the little 10 speed blender we received as a wedding gift.  To prepare the fruits or veggies, I would either steam, boil or bake until tender.  Peas and carrots were usually steamed.  Apples were peeled, diced and boiled,  For peaches, I cut them in half, removed the pit and then baked in a casserole dish with a small amount of water.  The smell of peaches baking in the oven is AMAZING!  Bananas I didn't cook obviously.  But when blending, I added plain yogurt to prevent browning.  Once the fruits or veggies were cooked, I pureed them with some of the cooking liquid or water until it was the desired consistency.  The puree was then poured into ice cube trays and frozen.  Once frozen, I would pop the little cubes out and place them in freezer storage bags that were labeled and dated.  To serve, I would take a few of the cubes out of the freezer bag the night before (2 - 3 cubes were about the same as one small jar of baby food), and allow them to defrost in the refrigerator.  Then, they were ready the next day for my Momma to use while we were at work!

If your little ones are in daycare during the day, the center may require jarred food.  But, you could still make your own baby food for use at home. Since the advice about what foods infants are allowed to have and at what age changes, please consult your pediatrician.  Below are some helpful links about making your own baby food.

Wholesome Baby Food
 This site was my number one source for recipes and preparation instructions!  


The Wholesome Baby Food Guide
by Maggie Meade


Vitamix Healthy Baby Page

Mary Ellen      

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