Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Introducing & Making Homemade Baby Food...

...I knew before AR arrived that I wanted to make my own baby food. Being married to an outdoorsman whose boss grows veggies and sells them to a local restaurant, it was really a no brainer for us. Once we fell into routine with AR and I saw all the fresh fruits and veggies around, I couldn't wait to start making baby food. Over Labor Day weekend, I took advantage of the lazy, rainy Saturday and started the adventure.

I searched all over Pinterest but mainly just followed this website. It lists what fruits and veggies to introduce at what months. I also read that baby food is good in the freezer for 4 months. Basically, everything I made over Labor Day weekend needs to be used before the end of the year.

In the next couple weeks, we plan to introduce cereal. I'm leaning towards starting with single grain oatmeal over rice cereal. Her 4 month check-up is on 9/18 so I plan on waiting until then and talking to the doctor. She's definitely showing interest in food but I don't think her swallowing is quite there yet. She always spits out her Vitamin D drops but I'm also thinking that maybe the cereal will help her swallowing (and cereal is much cheaper than spitting out those Vitamin D drops!).

Now on to the making of baby food! I spent about $12 for all the food and here's what all it made:
The haul included: green beans, carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, apples, plums & peaches.
I peeled, chopped, pureed everything and then put into ice cube trays. I let the trays sit for about 12 hours then popped them out and put them into freezer bags, labeled and put them away.
So here's how I did it...


Sweet potatoes, squash, carrots & zucchini:
I baked all of these items at 400 for about an hour. When it was soft, I pulled it out and let it cool. Then I scooped the insides out, put it in the Magic Bullet and done. I did add a little water to the thicker veggies to make it a thinner puree.

I didn't use the Magic Bullet for the sweet potatoes, I just mashed them with a fork, so they're a little lumpy (they were the first ones I made) but I figure I can puree a little more when I get them out. I used a HUGE zucchini. For the carrots, I wrapped them in foil then baked. The squash I used wasn't that big so it only made like 5 cubes.

Cauliflower & Green Beans:
I boiled the green beans and steamed the cauliflower. The I put in Magic Bullet and voila-baby food!

Plums, peaches & Apples:
Peaches and apples are both in the Dirty Dozen so I was sure to peel both of them. I also peeled the plums too. I used Golden Delicious apples but I think I'm also going to make some out of Granny Smith apples too. Once it was all peeled, I cut them into smaller bite-size pieces and simmered them in some water. Then I put in Magic Bullet and pureed. I tasted the plum on and it's pretty good.

I also plan on giving her bananas and avocados but those are so soft that I plan on buying fresh and mashing to give to her, no need to freeze. I figure any fruits she doesn't like, Matt and I can mix with oatmeal and as she gets used to more food, we'll do the same for her as breakfast. I'm sure with the leftover veggies, we can throw them in stew or chili or something so none will go to waste if she's not a fan.

I feel like we have a lot of orange veggies and not many fruits. I'm going to keep my eyes open for some other things I can make. I'm also starting to save coupons for yogurt so I can save some money there too. We plan on waiting to start on a weekend so tha we're not rushed. We also plan to start with veggies first so that she doesn't get used to sweet from fruit. When we get into regular routine, we'll do a fruit in the morning and her veggie at night. I'm excited to start this chapter with AR!

While I got the food out to take pics, I decided I'm show you how the breast milk is REALLY taking over the deep freeze. This is just the top layer, there's bags/cartons of milk below everything you can see too! And so far, we've only used 2 bags of frozen milk!!!
What foods do/did you plan to intro first? What did your kid like?

Updated: I forgot 2 things to tell you all! 1. I covered the ice cube trays with saran wrap when I put them in to freeze. If you find ice cube trays with cover, I'd highly recommend that instead. 2. The fruits were harder to pop out when frozen. My assumption is because they are sweeter and sticker so I had to use a fork on some of them to help get them out.


Kendra said...

I always introduced rice cereal first over oatmeal. Two resons: the texture is a little bit smoother than oatmeal, and if little tummies usually don't have an allergy to rice. In Canada, they actually have changed their mind and said to start introducing meat first, because if you're breastfeeding, their iron supply they were born with has diminished. So, I introduced a couple of veggies first, then went into chicken and beef and mixed them all together. Also, by about 8 months (we start solids at 6 months up here), my kids were off "baby" food and onto whatever we had at the table. I just made sure it was mashed up a little bit so they didn't choke.

SLESE1014 said...

I did baby led weaning and Raegan started with whole green beans. She actually just grabbed it off my plate and started eating at 4 months of age. I introduced cereal after she had been eating veggies for a while. I started with rice. I added oatmeal when she was 8 months old but had a problem with constipation, so we stopped the oatmeal. She was eating fruits and veggies for a bout a month before I started with meats. She's never had baby food or pureed anything.

I'm completely and totally impressed at your diligence. I can't wait to see pictures when she starts eating.

Kelly said...

I absolutely loved making Blakely's baby food. I also did blueberries and pears and those ended up being two of her favorites!