Recently, my baby turned six months old and as if she magically knew it was her birthday, she decided it was time for a new milestone: starting baby food! She was exhibiting signs that she was ready: sitting up on her own, grabbing at my food, and acting like after a bottle, she wanted something more.
Here's why you should give baby food making a whirl:
1: It's inexpensive.
Before I made baby food for the first time (eight years ago), I did the math: buy vs. make. Even with the initial supplies I had to purchase (such as ice cube trays), it was far cheaper to make ORGANIC baby food than it was to buy ready-made non-organic baby food.
2: It's easy.
I promise! Instructions below.
3: It takes very little time.
One afternoon was all I needed to make all the food my baby will need.
4: It's healthy.
So many "kid" foods have added stuff: food dye, sugar, salt, HFCS, etc. If you make your own food, you have control over what goes in it.
Alright, so you know WHY, and here is the HOW:
1: Gather your supplies.
- Some sort of blending device. We have a generic Magic Bullet, which we have had for three (plus) years now. I make everything in it! Don't go out and buy a special baby food blender.
- A pot with lid. I like the pots with strainer lids, like my Circulon.
- Baby food storage containers and/or ice cube trays. I highly recommend getting trays with flex handles on the side, and make sure they are BPA-free. The perk of using the baby food containers is that they're an all-in-one: freeze in them, serve from them, wash, and reuse.
- The frozen foods you plan to make; I always buy organic.
- Gallon size freezer bags if you plan to freeze food in ice-cube trays, plus a Sharpie.
Set aside half a day when you have interrupted time. Have all your supplies near by, a cup of your favorite coffee or tea, and your playlist going. Before you begin, defrost your frozen fruits overnight in the fridge.
If you have a friend who is also going to make food: make a date of it. It's more fun to work together! One person can work on fruits, and the other veggies.
For veggies: I cook as directed in a pot. THIS IS IMPORTANT: once the food is cooked, DO NOT drain the water into the sink! You need some of the water to blend with the veggie in your blender. This water contains vitamins/nutrients from the food, so you want to make sure add it back into the food.
Using your blender, along with some of the water from the cooked veggies, blend the food until it's a smooth consistency. It may need to cool a bit before blending.
Then pour the blend into your washed ice-cube trays OR baby food containers. If using the baby food containers, label with the dry-erase marker that came with the set. If using the ice cube trays, label your gallon baggie, pop the trays into the freezer. And in about four hours, the food will be solidly frozen. Gently twist the ice cube tray, turn over inside the baggie, shut, and put back into the freezer.
For fruits: I simply blend the fruits, one at a time, and freeze in the same way. If the fruit is too chunky to blend smoothly, just add a tad bit of water.
Thoroughly rinse your blending supplies between uses!
The night before, pull out whatever foods you plan to give your baby the next day. Place in the fridge to thaw. Voila!
A few other tips:
-Don't make too much food. Babies do not eat baby food for very long before moving on to more solid foods and "chunks."
-Make your own combos by mixing two different foods. Say you have fresh banana and then the peaches you froze. Mix them together when baby is ready. As long as your baby has tolerated the foods individually, you can create some pretty cool "cocktails" for your little one.
-Spice it up. Once your baby is accustomed to plain baby food, you can add spices here and there to liven things up. Think: a little cinnamon in the butternut squash.
Yes, it's really THIS easy! And if you plan to have more than one baby, once you buy the supplies (pan, trays/containers, blender), you'll be ready to make food again when your next child comes along.
-This post contains Amazon affiliate links.