Thursday, November 29, 2007

Baby food

Sawyer started on solids the weekend he turned 6 months. I decided to start him out on an avocado since they are so healthy and didn't have to be cooked. Needless to say he wasn't too thrilled! He gagged and choked and couldn't get any of it down.

So I decided it might be too early for the avocado and thought pears would be a little easier for his first time. When Ian was around 7 months old I decided to make his baby food instead of buying the jars from the store. It was such a great experience I couldn't wait to do the same for Sawyer. It's so much healthier and you know exactly what's in the food and where it came from. It's really easy to do and only requires about an hour a week to keep up a good supply. You have to do a little preparation to take it with you but it's so simple and just a matter of warming it up and putting it in a little to-go dish for the diaper bag. Here's a little tutorial for anyone that is interested. This is how I make it but I'm sure there are many different ways. Wholesome baby food is a great website for the when, what, and how in making baby food.

I buy organic whenever possible for his food. It's really worth the extra price because it goes a long way and you know they aren't getting any pesticides or other chemicals.

I peel and chop the fruit/veggie and put it in a steamer basket in a pot on the stove. This method only takes short time...within 10 to 15 minutes depending on the steam.

Once they are soft, I puree them in a food processor. This is a mini food processor I bought because I found it will do smaller amounts really well. I add water when it needs it to get that really smooth and fine texture. Pears don't need much water added at all but sweet potatoes and squashes need a good amount.

Here's a bowl of pureed sweet potatoes. I used 5 sweet potatoes and it made 8 cups.

Then I spoon it into ice cube trays. These trays happen to have a lid but I also have another set that I use without lids. Either way works fine.

After they are frozen, I simply pop them out of the trays and put them in gallon-sized bags. Now they are in perfect 1 to 2 ounce sized portions and I can grab whatever I feel like feeding him. You can combine them however you want. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Once they are a little older, you can leave the puree chunkier until they are ready for finger foods when they can have cut up fruit or steamed chunks of veggies. If you still aren't's way more affordable than buying those jars all the time. Those 5 sweet potatoes that I bought for around $3 will last for 2 to 3 weeks at the current rate he's eating.

I usually try and take the cubes of food out of the fridge the night before for the next day. I just keep them in the fridge to soften. To warm them up you can heat them slowly on the stove which doesn't take very long or you can use the microwave. I don't recommend the microwave very often because it will destroy any enzymes and nutrients the food contains. Making baby food does require a little extra time but it's so minimal and worth all the effort.

And since I can't resist showing pictures of him. Here he is enjoying some butternut squash!



Adam and Raechell said...

That is so awesome! I'm glad you showed pics and all, it's a really great idea. Very healthy and economical to boot. I love that.;)
He's such a cutie.

Bonnie and Fred said...

I'm with you Sawyer. I'll take butternut squash over avocada any day of the week. You are so cute.

Annagrace said...

I did this with Pea--I'll admit I didn't do it completely (next time!) but a good part of her food was made by me. She loved the Comice pears--they're so sweet and get almost custardy when cooked. Man, he's cute!

Karli said...

I loved this posting, Andrea! You did a great job! I would recommend it to anyone who is interested (me?) in learning how to make babyfood. You're a little photo journalist! BTW, Sawyer looks a lot like Ian in the first photo. Love the pics you captured of him eating. Great posting! --Karli

sheriamore said...

Thanks so much for posting, I am going to try this as soon as possible. I just started feeding my baby and got the jars but they are so expensive
P.S. Your baby is so cute!