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How to make your own Baby Food

July 2, 2011

Making your own baby food is easier than you think. There are many foods that your baby can share making meal prep for the both of you even easier.

Why make your own?

  • It’s economical
  • You know exactly what is going in it
  • You can tailor to your baby’s tastes and preferences
  • Allows baby to explore new tastes and flavors your family is accustom to which may help lessen the impact of the “picky eater” stage

 Tools

  • Blender, Food Processor, or Hand-held Stick Blender
  • Food processor
  • Steamer – for veggies and fruits. You want to lock in nutrients
  • Ice Cube trays, plastic wrap and freezer grade containers
  • Permanent marker – it will be easy to confuse carrots and sweet potatoes. Be sure to label foods with the following information: Food item name, date it was made. Use within a month, thaw and heat the desired number of ounces.

 Step-by-Step instructions

  1. Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables to remove dirt, bacteria and/or possible pesticides.
  2. Peel and remove seeds.
  3. Best cooking methods include steaming or boiling to soften fruits and vegetables, you will want a mushy consistency if your baby has just started solids. If your baby has been eating these foods for a couple of months, you can cook the food until it is easily pierced with a fork to allow a thicker consistency.
  4. Using a blender, food processor or hand-held stick blender, process the food until reaches the right consistency for you child’s stage of eating.
  5. Strain the food to remove any stray peels or seeds.
  6. Now its time for your ice cube trays! Spoon pureed food into each square in the tray, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. When the cubes are frozen, you can put them into a food storage container and label with food name and date food was prepared.
  7. It’s time to eat! Thaw as many cubes as you will need, warm slightly for your baby to enjoy!

Tips

  • Once you know what your baby can tolerate, combine flavors to create an interesting eating experience. Think peaches and bananas or curry and sweet potato!
  • Did your baby food turn out to liquidity? Add some baby cereal such as rice or oats to thicken the consistency
  • Wait three to five days after trying a new fruit or veggie before starting another so you can pinpoint a potential food allergy or intolerance.
  • High-nitrate vegetables, such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, collard greens, lettuce, spinach and turnips, should not be fed to babies in large quantities. The naturally occurring nitrates in these vegetables can bind iron in the blood and make it difficult to carry oxygen. Limit the serving size of these vegetables to one to two tablespoons per feeding.

Source: http://umaine.edu/publications/4309e

Pleasant peas – 4 to 6 months

Ingredients

  • 1 package frozen organic peas*
  • ½ cup water

Directions

  1. Place frozen peas in steamer. (If you don’t have a steamer, place metal colander over a pot of boiling water and cover.) Steam peas for 6 to 7 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove cooked peas from steamer/colander and put in food processor. Add water and process until completely smooth.
  3. Once cooled, distribute mixture evenly amongst ice cube trays or cupcake tins, dependent upon desired portion size.

Curried Sweet Potatoes – 6 months

Introducing new flavors and textures early on can help your baby be more accepting of new foods.

  •  ½ pound Sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder

Avocado Baby Food – Tofu and Avocado Cream – 8 months

This makes a great dip for finger foods at this stage.

  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) silken tofu
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) plan yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Directions

Mash and puree all ingredients together, chill and serve!

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