Last night we had a great class. We learned how to make our own baby food. I’ll get the recipes posted by the end of the day, as well as those things that will and won’t freeze. But for now, I have the handouts to post from last night. Everyone who came got to bring home their own homemade baby food to try. It was a great class, and I thank everyone who made it. (I know we are all getting busy this time of the year).
Advantages of Making Your Own Baby Food:
- Less Expensive
- You can control what you are giving your baby
- Free of additives, extra sugars, etc.
- Very little tools are needed to make your own baby food
- You control what textures and flavor combinations are given to your baby
- More nutrients than bottled and long term stored baby foods
Things to Remember Before Starting:
- Always consult your pediatrician before starting to feed your baby solid foods.
- Let your pediatrician know you are interested in making your own baby food.
- Follow the 4 day rule—Offer your baby the same new food for 4 days to test for allergies. (this applies to homemade baby food too!)
- Never introduce more than 1 new food at a time.
- Remember your babies will not always like the foods you are feeding them. Be prepared to feed them a variety of different types of foods.
Things You Will Need:
- Time Commitement: The site WholeSomeBabyFood.com claims that you only need 1 hour per week in order to make good, healthy baby food. But remember, it may take you longer at first until you are able to get the routine down.
- Blender or Food Processor: A larger one may be nice (but not necessary) for larger jobs. A small, inexpensive food processor can be found for as little as $9.99. Avoid a blender or food processor with plastic blades.
- Stick Mixer or Grinders: Perfect for small jobs.
- Ice Cube Trays: Needed for freezing food cubes. You can purchase ice cube trays with covers (Tupperware or OXO brand) for approximately $3-7.
- Freezer Bags: Store the frozen food cubes in these.
- Strainer/Colander: Holds and drains cooked fruits and vegetables
- Small Holed Strainer or Fine Mesh Strainer: Perfect for separating green bean and pea skins from puree for a much finer puree. (Sometimes you can find these at Dollar Tree for $1)
- Steamer Basket: Great for steaming fruits and vegetables. Mine came with my small rice cooker which was on sale last week for $7.99 at Walgreen’s. (Reg. price $9.99)
- Masher: Great for mashing vegetables, potatoes, and fruits into a thick and chunky texture.
- Sharpie Marker: Perfect for labeling your freezer bags.
If budget is an issue, stores like Dollar Tree offer the mashers, strainers and colanders for only $1 a piece! You can often find freezer bags and ice cube trays for $1 a piece there too!
- Choose the types of foods that are appropriate for you baby’s age and stage. Gerber has a great interactive menu planner. You can go there by going to http://menuplanner.gerber.com/
- Steam, bake, or boil the fruit or vegetable you will be cooking according to your individual steamer or fruit or vegetable size. (Steaming is best as it saves vital nutrients). I often use as quick Google search to find out how long to steam or boil fruits or vegetables.
- Take the fruit or vegetable that you cooked and put it into the blender or food processor. Set aside the fruit and vegetable juice for later use. (Some vegetable juice cannot be re-added to the fruit or vegetables for babies under 7 months of age The article below lists which ones). http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/nitratearticle.htm
- Set your machine to puree or grind and mash the fruits or vegetables to your babies needed consistency.
- Here is where you can go one of two ways: You can add back some of the fruits or vegetable juice, breastmilk, or plain water to thin out the consistency of the food, or wait until you serve the baby food to thin it out if needed
- Never add any salt or sugar to baby food. It is never needed. Spices like cinnamon, garlic powder and pepper can be introduced as early as 7 months old with your pediatricians okay.
- Cooked food should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours to insure no bacterial growth.
- Once food is mixed, fill each ice cube tray with the puree until it is almost full. Remember each ice cube tray is 1 oz of food. Cover with plastic wrap. (Or use the covered ice cube trays mentioned in “Things you will need” above).
- Once the cubes and puree are set and frozen, transfer them from the trays to the labeled freezer bags. Label the bag with the food and the date you prepared it. Baby food can be frozen up to one month.
- Food can be stored in the fridge 48-72 hours.
- To serve, take out desired amount of baby food from freezer. Thaw and reheat.
- To thin, add breastmilk or water.
Information Taken from: www.wholesomebabyfood.com
Suggested Book Reading/Help Guide: www.babybistrobrands.com
Questions? Email me at [email protected]