My adorable little baby Asher is starting to move out the pureed baby food stage and since I’ve been making his food for months as well as when Levi was a baby, I thought I’d do a little post on baby food. I want to keep this simple so I will just post a few tips and a few recipes. I have nothing against store bought baby food, I buy it sometimes. But homemade is so much better and a lot cheaper too. My favorite part of giving Asher baby food I make is the food I give him is food I wouldn’t mind trying. In fact, it all looks really good!
It’s not hard to make your own baby food. Yes, it takes some time, but not a lot of time. All you need to do is cook or steam the fruit or vegetable if needed, puree it and freeze it. And don’t feel overwhelmed by it like you need to make everything for your baby. I make most of my baby food but I don’t make it all. The meat purees just haven’t worked out for me so I buy those.
To see how simple it is here is how I make squash baby food:
To freeze it: Most people just use ice cube trays. That’s what I did when Levi was a baby but I didn’t like it. It was hard to get the cubes out. So this time I bought this silicone freezer tray and I have LOVED it! Next baby I’m going to buy 1 or 2 more. It’s so awesome and so easy. Each cube is 1 oz. And it is super easy to get the baby food cubes out. I just pull it out of the freezer, wait 5 minutes, label my freezer zip lock bag, put the cubes in and keep it in the freezer. I love it!
This is what the cubes look like. I love having a variety in the freezer because I can mix them up! Like for example, he loves a cube of mango with blueberry and apple. Yum! Also, sometimes I add 1 cube of apple puree to 2 cubes of sweet potato or squash puree to make his veggies a little more interesting. You can either have a few cubes defrost in the fridge or microwave it. If you microwave it, make sure you stir it around so there are no hot spots.
My favorite website: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/
My favorite books: Top 100 Baby Food Purees by Annabel Karmel
Baby Love by Norah O’Donnell and Chef Geoff
Starting Solids by Annabel Karmel
And here are a few of my favorite baby food purees to make to get you started:
Wash, peel and cut into chunks. Place apples in a pan and cover with just enough water to cover them. Cover and cook on high for 8 minutes, stirring once. The apples should be tender but not mushy. Pour into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add cinnamon if desired.
Apricot Pear: (8 months +)
1 cup dried apricots (about 20 pieces)
6 ounces water or apple juice
Wash, peel and cut the pears into chunks. Check the apricots for pits, Place all ingredients in a pot, cover with a lid and cook on high for 8 minutes, stirring once. Pour into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Peel, break into a few pieces and place in a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. I like to add a little baby cereal to it and a little water if needed.
Blueberries & Apples: (8 months +)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup water or apple juice
Wash, peel and cut apples into chunks. Place the apple chunks and blueberries and water in a pot. Cover and cook on high for 8 minutes, stirring once. Pour into blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Scrub fruit clean and carve an X on the bottom. Place X side down in a pot with an inch of water. Bring water to a boil and steam until soft and tender. Allow fruit to cool then peel. Remove pit and cut into chunks and puree until smooth.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. (If the squash is too tough to cut, microwave the squash for 2 minutes to soften it.) Scoop out the seeds. Lay the 2 pieces of squash face down in a baking dish and fill with 1-2 inches of water. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the skin looks puckery and turns a darker tan. Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop out the squash and puree until smooth. Add a little water if needed.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse and poke sweet potatoes with a fork. Wrap in foil. Bake for 30-60 minutes, until soft. Once cool enough to touch, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the cooked potato. Puree until smooth using a little water to reach desired consistency.
Trio of Root Vegetables:
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 small sweet potato (about 9 oz.), peeled
1 small parsnip, peeled and diced
Put the vegetables in a steamer set over boiling water. Cover and steam for 20 minutes until soft. Puree until smooth in a food processor or blender, adding a little water from the steamer to get the right consistency.
Carrot, Sweet Potato & Apple:
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
1 small sweet potato (about 9 oz.), peeled and diced
1 sweet dessert apple (such as Pink Lady or Gala) peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks
Steam the carrot and sweet potato for 8 minutes. Add the apple and steam for another 6 minutes or until all the ingredients are tender. Puree in food processor or blender. Thin to the desired consistency with a little water from the bottom of the steamer.
*Sources: Baby Love by Norah O’Donnell and Chef Geoff Tracy, Starting Solids by Annabel Karmel and http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/