Its official, your baby is now ready to enjoy some “solid” foods. Congratulations, you’ve made it to the mythical 4-6 month mark. There are tons of options when it comes to baby’s first foods; any trip down the baby aisles at a grocery store is a testament to that. If you are like most first time parents (and even some been there done thats), you are lost on where to begin and what to feed your precious babe. If you are cheap frugal like I am, I strongly encourage you to consider making your own baby food. Not only is it extremely easy, but it’s kind of fun and you will have lots of control over what your baby eats. Here is what you need:
- Seasonal Fruits
- Seasonal Vegetables
- A steaming Pot
- A blender (or food processor)
- Ice Cube Trays
- Freezer Bags
That’s it; just seven things will get you tons of baby food at your disposal. My technique is very simple. Each week I would go to the grocery store and buy fruits and vegetables that were ripe and in season. Buying them this way is helpful because they are often on sale when in season too! Yay to saving more money! Once I returned home the first step was to thoroughly clean everything.
Next is to start steaming. Vegetables work very well with steaming; they keep their flavor better than they would if you were to boil them. Add about two inches of water to the bottom of your steam pot, put the veggies or fruit in the steam basket and let them cook until mushy.
Once they reach that desired mushy state put them into your blender and begin to mix. Slowly add some of the water from the bottom of the pot into the blender while you are mixing. You want to use that water instead of new water because the steam water has some of the flavor and or nutrients of whatever it was you just cooked. Don’t waste it! Then you blend until it starts to look like baby food! Don’t be afraid if the textures look different than what you would find in a jar. This is a great way to introduce your baby into new textures as well as tastes!
When you get your baby food blended, you can scoop it into your ice cube trays. Each ice cube is roughly one ounce. This is great because most baby food jars that you purchase are 2, 4, or 6 ounces. When your baby begins to eat solids, they may not want the full two ounces. So this helps to eliminate waste.
Jar baby foods don’t keep very well. Also, you can play with different flavors with homemade foods. Mixing fruits with vegetables, or some other combination that you don’t find in a jar. For different tastes, try baking some fruits and vegetables. To further play with textures, try adding baby cereal to your homemade baby food. Heck, try making your own baby cereal! You can also make meat purees when your baby is old enough to try meats, but to be honest that turned my stomach, so I avoided it. Instead my kids got their proteins from cheeses and yogurts. The more options you give your child now will help them become adventurous eaters later!
After your baby food has frozen, pop out your “baby food cubes” and place them in a freezer bag that is labeled and dated. Take out what food you need, when you need it. I liked to take out all of my kids meals the night before. Sometimes I would take it out right before meal times and microwave it in 10 second intervals to avoid it getting too hot.
Be sure to check with your pediatrician to decide when your child is ready for each type of food. Always feed your child the same food four days in a row to help identify food allergies. Above all, be sure to have fun experimenting with fun foods for your baby! For more information please visit http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/.