Thursday, March 1, 2012

Making Baby Food 101

Making my own baby food is something I really love to do (at least for the first few months - then they eat SO much and it's tough to keep up with for me) and it's really, really easy! I have a few friends and blog friends who either just had babies, are trying for babies, or have babies close to Ben's age and will be starting "solid" foods soon so I thought I'd do a little tutorial on how I make baby food.

What you need to get started:

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I use a food processor, cutting board, knife and spatula. Not pictured is a cookie sheet and pots and pans for cooking the fruits or veggies. Now, there are all sorts of baby food making machine type things out there. I, personally think there's no need for such gadgets. A food processor works just fine.

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I do, however, use this Kid Co. system. I freaking love it. Each triangle is a one ounce portion so I know exactly how much Ben is getting. I love how easily they stack in the freezer and how hey have a little travel companion that you can bring 3 portions of food with you in.

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It's really great. You can definitely use ice cube trays and it will work just fine. I happen to love the added convenience of this Kid Co. system. (And, no - Kid Co. did not hit me up for advertising. I'm a bit too small for them to bother with, I assume - but if they want to give me free product, I would certainly NOT turn them down ;)

So, anyway. That's what I use.

This week I made peas, pears, plums and sweet potatoes.

Peas are SUPER easy. Boil, puree, put in trays and freeze. I forgot to take pictures of that process, so please forgive me.

Onto the pears. Pears are also super easy as long as they're good and ripe. You just peel them, cut them into chunks and puree them before placing them in the trays to freeze. No cooking necessary.

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While the pears were being done I boiled the plums. I just put a small layer of water in the bottom of a saucepan and let it boil. I plop some halved plums in the water and cover them. The steam makes the skin of the plum separate a bit and makes it easy(er) to remove the skins. Plums do get messy and you're dealing with hot fruit so you have to be careful, but they're still relatively easy.

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After you get the skins and pits out, you put the plums into the food processor. You may want to add a little of the cooking water in to get it really smooth (you can do this to any fruit or veggie - another alternative to water is some breast milk. I had no stored milk and didn't want to pump, so I did water this time). Then you just put them into the trays.

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While I was doing all of that I had some sweet potatoes cooking up in the oven. I put them in at 425 degrees for roughly 45 minutes. When I took them out and cut them open the skin practically falls right off making it very easy to get the fleshy goodness out and into the processor.

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Then, you guessed it! Just puree and throw into those trays. How easy is all of that?!

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The trays stack neatly in the freezer and take up very little space. There's 32 ounces worth of food in there and that will last Ben over 2 weeks so I won't' have to make more food for at least that long. The whole process took me about 45 minutes (I started the sweet potatoes about 10 minutes before I began). It's fast, easy and I love knowing that I have complete control over what is put into Ben's body. He'd never had anything but breast milk and when he gets his solids I want to know that it's nothing more than organic fruits and veggies (preferably locally grown if I can manage) and water or breast milk.  He'll definitely be eased into other foods and items that may have more processing or chemicals and while not ideal, that's the world we live in and I'm okay with it for the most part. My diet is far from perfect and Max's definitely could stand improvement as well. So, I'm not all crazy organic-won't-let-my-kids-ever-eat-processed-foods mom, but I do believe that little tummies need time before being exposed to anything like that. I prefer to ease my baby's belly into food and help his digestive system work up to it.

I hope this was informative for you! This website is also so informative and where I learned how to do all of my baby food making. If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask! I love talking about anything baby related :)

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