DIY Baby Food
I started making my own baby food with Adalaide and not only loved knowing exactly what was going in to the food that I was feeding my baby but kinda enjoyed experimenting with combinations of fruits, veggies and grains to see what she liked best. Adalaide has been a picky eater from the moment she started eating solids so she wasn’t really my best customer. To this day if I put a bowl of delicious homemade mac and cheese in front of her she’ll lean over and smell the bowl before taking a hesitant bite. As if she’s afraid I’ve slipped something unsavory in there! Maybe my baby food experimentation scarred her for life…or maybe she’s just a REALLY picky eater! Anyway, I’ve pulled my blender back out to start making Joshua Jr’s food now that he’s ready for solids and am so relieved with how much easier he is to please! I gotta say it really takes the pressure off!
We were able to tell he was ready for more than the breast or the bottle when he started avidly watching every bite of food that went into our mouths and smacking his lips in anticipation. It was actually kind of hilarious! He’s had a voracious appetite from the very beginning downing 8 oz bottles after every nursing session from 2 months on. So I was really looking forward to seeing how he took to solids and boy did he take to them! He eats with an impatient fervor and intensity as if he’s afraid you’re going to stop shoveling the food into his mouth as fast as possible. If you slow down at all to say, open the next jar of food he starts hollering and shouting at you to get going. He’s a dream to make food for because he loves almost everything. The only foods he’s not as fond of our the blander veggies and fruits like squash and apples. He likes strong flavors and variety and I’ve been having a lot of fun going down this road of discovery with him
I have the very good fortune of having a steam oven that I only just figured out how to use a few years ago. It’s absolutely perfect for steaming large quantities of fruits and veggies for Joshua’s purées. For those without this luxury, here’s a great link that will tell you all the different ways to cook baby food and their benefits. Momtastic also has some great recipes, which I’m always looking for!
I have the Baby Bullet for puréeing which is great for smaller quantities, but Joshua goes through about 6-8 jars of food a day so I prefer to use my Ninja Blender so I can purée much more at once. Baby Bullet also has a steamer that looks pretty great. I haven’t tried it but I figured it was worth mentioning.
The recipe book I used for Adalaide and am now using for Joshua has super simple recipes for every stage and great information about the nutrients and health benefits of the fruits and veggies you’re serving your little one. The baby bullet also comes with a recipe book full of useful info and great recipes as well. Here are a few other books I really like:
- 201 Organic Baby Purees: The Freshest, Most Wholesome Food Your Baby Can Eat!
- The Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book: Make 3 Months of Homemade Purees in 3 Hours
- The Big Book of Organic Baby Food: Baby Purées, Finger Foods, and Toddler Meals For Every Stage
Because Joshua goes through so much food in a week I’ve decide to save myself a little extra time and by some of the fruits and veggies frozen. This way I’m not in the kitchen every other day peeling, coring and chopping dozens of peaches, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes and squashes. I only do this though when I’m spread a little too thin. I prefer to make it all from fresh organic produce but occasionally compromises must be made to save my sanity! If I’m not using frozen and haven’t managed to buy organic for one reason or another I use this simple wash to make sure I get anything harmful off before cooking.
Once you learn the rules of homemade baby food and get a little experience under your belt it’s really fun to start coming up with your own tasty combos. I make single ingredient purées and then combine them and add a bit of spice before serving.
Joshua's Favorite Combos
- Cinnamon/Cardamom Peachy Oat Purée
- Cinnamon Blueberry/Millet Smoothie Bowl
- Rosemary Quinoa/Acorn Squash Purée
- Sage Sweet Potato/ Barley Purée
I purchased these Sage Spoonfuls baby food jars in plastic and glass to see which I prefer. When we’re eating at home I like the glass jars, finding them easier to clean and maintain but the plastic are perfect for traveling. Both are freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe which is great.
I can’t wait for the next phase of Joshua’s food education. It really is so much fun to cook for an enthusiastic eater! Though the challenge of pleasing a picky eater can be just as gratifying when you find that winning meal. I’m talking to you Adalaide! I will not be defeated!