Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Making Your Own Baby Food

I never realized how "sold" I would be on making my own baby food until I finally buckled down and did it. With Madelynn, I just bought all her baby food, thinking it would be too much work to make it myself, and that she wouldn't like it as much anyways. I think I made one thing for her, she didn't like it, and I never tried again. This time, I was more motivated to make solids for Judah. I got out my trusty old food processor, which, by the way, is the small version, and has gotten a lot of use lately. It has treated me good, but I think she's getting tired and might need an upgrade soon. Do you hear me, Pioneer Woman?? You need a Food Processor giveaway, with my name on it. Thank you for being prompt.
Anyways, what helped me to get more on the bandwagon is my handy-dandy little book that Tad got me, called, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler" but my sweet husband took a Sharpie and crossed out Idiot's, and wrote Sweetheart's. Don't anyone gag on me. He is sweet!!
This book has step-by-step recipes for a bunch of basic baby foods, and then gives good advice on what things to mix as they get older, what is healthy, what each baby food has in it that makes it good for baby, and whether it is a good idea to "go organic" and what that even means.
One thing I really like as far as making baby food, is that I get to choose what I am making. I made avocados for Judah, and he loved them. They don't sell that for baby food in the store!! I can control the portions, freeze it, make a bunch ahead of time, and I use old baby food jars for storing when we go out.
Maybe this all seems trite to you, or if you already make your own baby food, it all seems very obvious. But it was a little daunting to me at first, so I took the easy road and just bought it. But when you make it yourself you are also saving money, and eliminating the processed stuff they have to add for shelf life. You can choose to buy organic, to add different kinds of produce to your child's diet, and to buy whatever is in season.

This is the easy step-by-step version I will give you, and then I will give some basic recipes to get you started if you are interested!!

1. Make sure your produce is cleaned, peeled, soft (meaning if you need to steam or microwave first), and cut into chunks.
2. Add it to the food processor with either breast milk or formula and puree according to the consistency your child can handle.
3. Pour into a container with an easy pouring spout, and pour into the container of choice. I like to pour some into glass containers with a lid and put it in the fridge (again, practical because you can control the portion for your child), and some into ice cube trays to freeze until whenever I need them. You can pour some right into baby food jars so that when you are ready to go out, it is all ready for you!

Once they are frozen, you can pop them into a Ziploc bag, labeled and dated for freshness, and use them at your leisure. Warm them up 2-3 at a time in a glass bowl or dish for about 30 seconds, give or take the amount, quantity, and type of dish. Sometimes they warm up unevenly, so just make sure you stir them up and test for a lukewarm temperature.

So, that is basically the formula for baby food success!! I will just give you some suggested times for steaming and/or microwaving some of the harder produce. Really, moms, this takes minutes to accomplish. It is so much easier than I ever imagined, and now that I have started, I will continue because I love it!! I think I am even going to bring my food processor with me on vacation!!

(Sweet potato, broccoli, apples, and pears, and later in the day I made bananas, which I mix in with his rice cereal every morning.)

Avocado: 1 ripe Avocado, slice and pit ripe avocado, scoop out insides. Puree/blend with formula or breast milk.
Banana: 1 ripe Banana, break into pieces. Puree/blend with formula or breast milk.
Broccoli/Cauliflower: Cut off stalks and chop top portion into one-inch florets. Wash and drain. To microwave: Place in large microwave-safe dish in one-half inch water, cover with microwave safe cover or plastic wrap, but do not let wrap touch food. Cook on high for 3-5 minutes. They are done when easily pierced with a fork. If not done, cook for 1-2 minutes more. Immediately drain water, let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to cool.
To steam: Empty frozen broccoli or cauliflower into top of saucepan with steamer basket insert. Steam over high heat until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes.
Puree/blend with formula or breast milk. Strain if necessary before serving.
Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes: 1 medium white or sweet potato. To bake: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub outside of potato, prick potato in several places. Place directly on oven rack and bake until tender; 45 minutes to an hour for white potatoes, and 35 to 40 minutes for sweet potatoes. Remove and let cool. Slice lengthwise and remove inside of potato. Discard skins. To steam: Peel one medium white or sweet potato. Chop into one-inch cubes. Place in top portion of double boiler. Steam until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and let cool 10 minutes.
Place cooked potato in food processor or blender and blend with formula or breast milk until it is a smooth, uniform consistency.

So that's pretty much it. The process is pretty much the same. With soft things like banana or avocado, they just go right into the food processor. But with the harder stuff like apples, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, etc. they need to be baked, steamed, or boiled first so that you can blend it smoothly.

Again, this is all very basic, but if reading this gets even one mom to try it and see how easy it is, and how much money you save, and how much healthier it can be, then this post was worth it!! Happy Cooking!!

P.S. Judah loves it!


  1. Evan is only 12 weeks, but I'm excited to make our own food when the time comes, thanks!

  2. I absolutely LOVE it!! And the sweetheart version of the book? Make my heart melt...great job on that one Tad. :)

    Love ya, and glad Ju-Ju is getting some more healthy and fun options to add more chunk to his rolls. lol!

    Have fun on holiday!