May 4, 2010

How do I make baby food?

Well after about 2.5 hours of quite time with a nice computer guy....I think we are back in business. It is a little strange to sit at your kitchen table with a complete stranger while he works on your computer and come up with conversation topics. Aidan was at school, so we didn't even have that distraction. BUT, it was much more convenient than taking my herd into Best Buy, and be charged a ridiculous fee while being without a computer for 3 weeks. This guy only charged me for one hour, and he was here well over that! So, if you are in Raleigh, I promised I would pass his name on. Send me an email if you need computer work (and tell him I sent you, ha ha! ;).

Thank you for the sweet responses on my last post! I was excited that other mom's want my advice on making baby food! I will try to make this as painless as possible for you!!

First, here is a list of things that you need when you get started:
Whatever produce you would like to make into baby food
A blender, food processor, or chopper (for older babies)
Zip lock (or store brand) freezer bags (I use gallon size)
Something to freeze your puree in. I have these and LOVE them:
I have heard that other's use ice cub trays, but I have not tried that. Let us know how it works if you do!
And last, but certainly not least:

Some vino.

I am going to use sweet potatoes, because it is the first thing I made. They are a great first food for your baby packed with tons of Vitamin A, beta carotene, fiber, as well as potassium. If your babies are anything like mine, we have digestive issues (also know as constipation), and sweet pots are great for the digestive track!

Start by washing, poking holes, and wrapping your pots in foil.
Place in preheated oven (400 degrees) and bake for 30-60 mins.
*Bake time depends on how many you are baking at once, and how large they are.
{Pour yourself a glass of wine}
When they are done, they should be nice and soft. Cut a slit long ways on one side of the potato, and gently pull off the skin.
Put all the guts into your blender, and throw away the skin. Depending on how soft they are, you can start by blending them without added any liquid. If your child is on stage 2, then you might not have to add any liquid at all.

Since my boys are still learning, we add some *milk to thin the puree.
*You may choose to add formula, water, or breast milk until you reach the consistency you like.

{Refill your glass of wine}

After you are satisfied with your puree, you need to pour, or spoon the pots into your freezer tray.
I have found that it is better to not overflow the cubs, as it makes it harder to remove them once frozen. I like to leave a little room at the top, so they are easy to pop out!
Then, just stick them in your freezer!!
(Side note- if you plan to leave your cubes in your freezer tray, you will need to cover them or just stick them into a larger freezer bag. If you are only freezing them until they are solid, no need to cover them!)
Make sure they are FROZEN! If they are still soft at all, they will make a mess when you try to get them out! I usually  make my food at night, and by morning they are nice and solid.
With my tray, I find that it is much easier to pop the cubes out if I let them sit on the counter for about 5 minutes. Then I flip the tray over and push on easy cube until it pops out! I love my tray because it is made of rubber, so it is really easy to get each cube out.
Label your freezer bag, and stick it back into the freezer!
(Yes, I totally can't spell. Thank god for spell check!)

When you are ready, pull out the cubes you need. You can get them out the day before, and let them thaw in your fridge. I can't think that far ahead of time, so I just stick them in a glass bowl and micro them for 60 seconds and stir halfway.

I also wanted to give you a little hint on making peas. I usually get a big 'ol bag of fresh, frozen peas at walmart for $1. I boil them per the instructions on the bag, and puree them the same way. One thing I have noticed is once I warm them up for my boys, they need a little liquid. If your baby is eating thicker food, you may not have to, but I am just not a fan on the consistency if I don't.

Before
After:
Dinner is served!
Do you have any tips? So far we have made mango's, peas, sweet pots, pears, peaches, carrots, and mashed bananas and avocados! I have only tried peaches once, and I made a MESS! Everything else was pretty much the same. Warning: mango's get very watery when they are frozen. I have to add rice cereal to ours. I will let you know the next food I try!

This site has tons of great information about making homemade baby food!

6 comments:

The Stafford Family said...

Hi, Heather! I LOVED making all of Nick's baby food... I have one tip for you!

After pureeing, let it cool for a little while in the blender and then pour your puree into a freezer bag (if you do it when it's still hot, it will melt the bag). Then you just cut one of bottom corners off to create a pastry bag. Then you just squeeze the puree into the cubes and you don't have a big mess using a spoon!

Have fun! It's so awesome knowing exactly what your baby is eating- something made with love by Mommy! And as you mentioned, it saves a ton of money!

Karl and Susan said...

I used to use ice trays and they did work very well, although the portions were naturally smaller than those trays you have. I don't remember if you mentioned apples but those were a hit in our house. We just sliced and baked them till soft then food processed and added water as needed. Has Aidan been interested in you doing all this??

Jenn said...

I am just starting to make my son's food also. I have a Beaba and I must say, its really convenient.

Good tip on the peas - I noticed mine were a tad thicker after defrosting.

Jenny said...

Heather,
I don't even have babies yet, but I do plan on doing this when I have them!! Your such an awesome mom!!!

JEnny

The Burfitt's said...

thank you so much! This is going to be a new hobby of mine. We just got a big freezer for the garage to have room for homemade baby food. Thank you so much for all of the tips :)

mary_marshall said...

Another good website is http://carrotsareorange.com/. Also, I recently pureed blueberries & did not strain them after pureeing to remove the pieces of skin. While they were a big hit with my baby, they made a mess when digested or spit up. So beware if you try those! :-)