So it was my intention all along to make my own baby food…I just didn’t want to be giving my boy a bunch of processed junk right off of the bat. Of course, I also wanted to breast feed for the entire first year.
Well, sometimes even the best intentions just don’t pan out.
My surgery kind of screwed up my plans for both breastfeeding (I dried up) and making O’s baby food. We used a couple of different brands of store-bought baby food after I thoroughly read the labels and decided that they would be ok, but once I was able to get out and start grocery shopping again I got serious about some baby food.
I decided to start off with a couple of things I know he likes: Sweet potatoes and carrots. I also bought a bunch of kale to add something new to his diet.
The FDA cautions that nitrates in kale, and other vegetables, could be dangerous to your baby before he is 7 months old.
Here is more information about nitrates in baby food fromwww.wholesomebabyfood.com.
Here’s how I make baby food…this is not necessarily the only way or the best way, but it’s how I do it. Also? It’s really easy!
For sweet potatoes:
Pre-heat oven to 360 (I know, random) degrees and line a baking sheet with nonstick foil. Peel and cube your sweet potatoes, then spread them out in one layer on the baking sheet. I sprinkled a little salt over them, but that is entirely optional. Roast for about 40 minutes total, stirring halfway through if necessary. They’re done when you can squish a cube with your fingers…Be careful, because if you decide to taste a cube at this point you may end up eating a lot of them.
I probably could have filled another ice cube tray if I had kept my mitts off of them.
Scrape the sweet potatoes into a blender or food processor (I recently acquired my grandma’s food processor). Pulse until you get the consistency you like, then spoon into an ice cube tray. You could also use cake decorating bags fitted with a large round tip (size 1A would work) to pipe the baby food into the ice cube trays.
Cover the ice cube tray or put it into a freezer bag, then the whole thing goes into the freezer. I like to leave them in the tray over night, then pop the cubes into labeled freezer bags when they’re nice and solid. Yep, that’s it!
For the carrots and kale:
Wash your kale thoroughly (or buy pre-washed and give it a quick rinse) and rip the leaves off of the stems. Wash and peel the carrots, then cut into thin discs. Put everything into a steamer and let cook until the greens wilt and the carrots are soft. You could roast the carrots (like the sweet potatoes), but it was easier at the time to do it all in the steamer basket at once. I think I was working on this around 8:00 in the evening and I had been working in the kitchen all day, so I was all for whatever was easiest at that point. Had I planned ahead, I would have roasted the carrots and the sweet potatoes at the same time. Live and learn, y’all.
Once everything is nice and soft, spoon it into the food processor and pulse until you get it the way you want it, then spoon into ice cube trays and freeze.
So there you go! It really is that easy to make baby food. I wouldn’t keep it any longer than a couple of months in the freezer, so make sure to write the date (and the contents) on the bags.
When you’re ready, just nuke the cubes a few seconds at a time…just until they’re thawed and at room temp. Make sure to stir and check the temp! I like to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes while I get O set up in his high chair. That way, any hot spots should cool down.
I only use one cube of kale at a time, by the way. Kale contains a lot of iron and if you give him too much your baby might not poop for a week!
Once you’ve introduced foods individually (to check for allergies) feel free to try out different combinations. You could make cubes of single veggies and mix them when you’re ready to serve, or you could make combination cubes.
You can also use the food processor to pulse cooked fruit and oatmeal for breakfast cubes. We’re going to start trying meat next, and I haven’t quite decided how I want to do that. Frozen cubes of meat puree seems kind of gross, but I think that will be how I do it.
Do you make your own baby food? What suggestions do you have? Let me know in the comments!