Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baby Food Basics

It could have been our lack of enthusiasm for the rice cereal, or it could have been that it tastes awful to out daughter, either way the rice cereal was a complete whammy at our house.  We did, however, find some things that she simply adores!

I never though I would be so very excited to make baby food for our daughter.  We knew from the beginning that we were going to, I just never though I'd find so much joy in it.  Though watching Little Bean eat the things she likes is adorable and makes my heart flutter.  Even better is watching her tell us she dislikes something. 

At 7 months she is very adamant on the flavors she is not so fond of.  For instance she could not get enough of the avocado and banana Hubby made for her the other day.  She slurped it off of the spoon and kept practically begging for more.  It was not the same experience with peas and carrots.  She tried one bite (which she was so very excited to get in her mouth) and instantly spit it back out!  Then she tucked her chin to her chest, wouldn't look at either of us and refused to open her mouth for more.  I caved after trying to coax her for 5 more minutes and gave her some butternut squash with pears - which she loves!

The next concoction will be something with apples in it.  We've got a few that are in need of using before they are no longer good to eat.  I'm thinking of putting them with some pumpkin because we know she really likes that already.  Plus it is fall and those two are made for each other!

Prior to our baby-food-making experience we searched the internet for tips and hints on the basics.  What to put together.  How to prepare the food so it is safe.  How long to store the food.  How to properly store the food.  Then we realized if we're feeding her what we are eating we do it all the same!  It was like some sort of epiphany! 

Here's what we do to make our baby food:

1.)  Cook anything to the normal specifications.  Examples: I boiled 2 cups of fresh carrots until they were soft.  I boiled peas until they were the temperature we would normally eat them at.  Fruits I left raw because that's how we eat them.  We have not yet introduced meats.  When we do I'll post about it.

2.)  Put the cooked or raw food in to the food processor or blender.  *I feel a disclaimer is needed here.  There are a few very cute baby food machines on the market.  They are expensive and come with many, many pieces.  We use our food processor (which we already owned) or a blender (which we already owned).  Either has work perfectly and I know you can get regular blenders for less than those fancy pants baby blenders.*

3.)  Push that button until your baby food is mashed sufficiently!  That's right.  Make it good and mushy.  We discovered our daughter does not currently like the chunks so we just make sure that there aren't any.  Once we reach that point it is blended well enough for us.

4.)  Scoop the baby food in to ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen remove from the ice cube tray, put in to a storage container of your choice and label when you made it so there are no questions.  For us plastic freezer bags work perfect.  I can write on them what is inside and the date. 

5.)  When it is time for baby to eat thaw a cube or two.  Stir and serve.  Baby will thank you for putting in so much effort and for making such good food for them!  We take out some cubes in the morning which allows them to thaw in time for lunch and dinner.  I warm her food to just above room temperature that way it isn't cold.  We've saved money, time and effort since we're just making extras when we cook for us!

Have you got any other tips or tricks you'd like to add?  Please share!

Here are the combinations that we have tried. I'll make a separate post about all of them later so it will be a quick resource for anyone interested.  If you add any combinations I'll put them on, too (just leave your name and/or link so I can give you credit!!)

1/2 of an Avocado + 1 Banana (made about 6 ounces, not an ice cube tray full)
1.5 cups Peas + 2 cups Carrots (made more than an ice cube tray full)
1 Avocado + 1 Pear
2 cups Butternut Squash + 1 Pear

Have you got any great combinations to share?  Please do!  Don't forget to leave your name so I can give you credit!

Happy baby-food-making!

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