Saturday, May 28, 2011

How to make your own baby food:)

Well yesterday's post (home cooking baby food) got some people asking about how I exactly I made the food.  So today's is more the nitty gritty of how I made the food.

With the munchkin - I started with fruit.  That may have been a poor choice.  She hated vegetables after trying the sweet stuff first, and still dislikes veggies.  So I did the opposite with the tank.  And he clearly loves everything.  Except maybe avocado (of all the foods- this is the one he dislikes??).

I have made the following:
sweet potatoes          corn                                fruit medley
squash                      vegetable medley            mango
peas                          peaches                           pears
green beans              apples                             probably some more that I can't remember
carrots                      blueberries                      edamame (on the list for tomorrow)
avocado                   bananas                           all sorts of combos of the above

But they are all similar.
For everything but banana and avocado -you need to cook it first (at least when using them as the puree form).
For the veggies:
1.  Chop up everything into smaller pieces to cook faster as needed.
2. Boil everything until tender and easily pierced with a fork.
3. Drain everything (I think it's carrots that you aren't supposed to use the cooking water, but I can't remember which veggie it is so to make life simple I just drain all of them.)
4. I use an  immersion blender to puree all the foods (love, love, love mine - we make soups all the time and this is truly the easiest way to do that).  You could use a food processor or blender instead.
5. I puree each veggie until the right texture - you will need water or juice to do this.  When I started, I used just water.  And after introducing some of the fruits, I will just use applesauce or fruit juice to get it thinned out.  You can't use breastmilk that has already been frozen, but could use fresh milk and then freeze it.
6. I pour the pureed foods into ice cube trays, then once frozen put them into a labelled zip lock bag.
7. To give you an idea on quantity - 1 med sweet potato pureed to thick consistency made about 1.5 trays, thin consistency probably 2-3 trays!
1 bag peas- 1.5 trays
1 squash - 3+ trays.

For the fruits:
1. I just toss the whole bag of frozen fruit into a pot and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. Then puree as above.
3. I pay no attention to all the crazy web sites about what foods to introduce and when.  I just do one at at a time.  For instance- the fruit medley has strawberries, grapes, melon, peaches, and something else.  Some people say don't do strawberries until 1 year of age.  This is actually one of tank's favorites!  And the American Academy of Pediatrics finally said there is no recommendation because we have no idea what causes allergies and it probably has nothing to do with when you introduce the foods.  My personal opinion is the sooner the better.  Less mature immune system usually means less likely to reject (organ transplants done before age 1 usually do well even if not an exact match because of this!)
Quantity
1 bag frozen peaches - not quite a full tray (seems like it should make more!)
I use unsweetened pure applesauce and just puree it some to make the apples - tons and tons!

This is why feeding Munchkin was so difficult!
4-6 bananas with some source of liquid (water, prune juice, applesauce) - 1-2 trays (brown bananas work way better - or frozen and then thawed as you don't have to cook them first.)

Blueberries- whole bag made just that small glass dish above.  I ended up just mixing some in with applesauce.

For foods that have thick skins - blueberries/peas/etc - once pureed I push the foods through a strainer to get rid of the big chunks.  Now that tank is older, I wouldn't try as hard to do this.  But the first go of it, I really mashed everything through a fine strainer - kind of a pain.

Hope that helps!  If you have questions, let me know!  This week I may try broccoli, eggplant, and adding spices!

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