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Making Baby Food at Home
Making your own baby food at home will save time and money, and give your baby healthier food choices. It doesn’t have to be a scary mystery. Making baby food is easy and very inexpensive.
Your initial investment for homemade baby food should be very small. You will need:
8 ice cube trays
Quality freezer storage containers or freezer bags.
A blender (if you don’t have one, it’s not absolutely essential)
If you start with fruit:
The easiest one to make at home is applesauce. You can buy a large economy size jar of organic sugar free applesauce and simply open the jar, pour it into ice cube trays, cover with foil and freeze. If you already make homemade applesauce, you can also freeze this in ice cube trays. For babies, make sure you don’t add the citrus to the applesauce unless the baby has already had it.
Bananas are just as easy. When they start to ripen, break them up with a fork if you don’t have a blender and put them in ice cube trays. Whenever you have bananas that have gone soft, just blend a bunch in the blender and put it in the tray. If you are concerned about the color (it will look a little brown) you can add a drop or two of lemon juice, again, only if baby has already had citrus. You don’t want to introduce two foods at the same time.
If you want to start with vegetables, pumpkin is the absolute easiest. Go to the grocery store where you buy canned pumpkin (the kind you buy to make pumpkin pie). Check the label. Some of it is 100% pumpkin puree. This is what you need. Don’t get any with spices. Buy the bigger box. Open it and put it in ice cube tray. Wrap it in paper and freeze. Other very easy ones are: potatoes, regular potatoes, green beans, peas.
In a day or two when it’s hard to freeze, you pop the cubes out and put them in freezer bags.
I used to keep a Tupperware container in my freezer that had all the veggie cubes and one that had all the fruit cubes, then every day I would go in and grab what I needed. I usually just defrost them in the microwave. Mix them well and test the temperature with your finger. If the food is too thick (perhaps it will be at first) you can mix it with small amounts of water or breast milk or formula.
As the baby gets older you will use 3-4 cubes per meal, but at first you can just use one cube per meal.
These are very portable. I just had some small containers. I put the cube in the freezer and if we get out somewhere it would melt, or I could add a little hot water and melt it faster if necessary, then mix in dry baby cereal to get the perfect consistency .
Applesauce, banana, avocado and pumpkin are the simplest to make and if you do nothing else, it will always save you money.
If you want to go a step further, all the fruits and vegetables can be prepared for the baby by simply cooking them until soft (discard all the water that you use to mix it to make it soft and flowing). The water will have a lot of vitamins in it after the vegetables have been cooked in it. Once they are soft, put them in a blender. Keep adding the water that you used to cook them until it becomes soft, the consistency of baby food. Once it’s nice and soft, pour it into ice cube trays. Frozen. Pop it out a few days later and wash your trays to use again.
I did a big batch of stuff about once a week. Then the next week I would make a different batch.
If you decide you want to try making your own cereal at home, it’s easy too.
To make about two cups of baby cereal, once it’s ready add protein:
1/3 cup dry whole grains (brown rice, millet, oatmeal, barley, etc.)
2 teaspoons dried legumes (lentils, dried split peas, etc.)
Put these in the blender (SEK) and grind it into a powder. It will make about 1/2 cup of powder. When you are ready to cook the cereal, you stir it into two cups of boiling water. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes (double that if you include soybeans). Whisk it frequently while cooking. You can just store this in the fridge for two or three days or freeze it. Make sure you freeze it in small portions. This recipe is from the book Super Baby Food. It has all kinds of great recipes for making nutritious food from scratch for babies.
Once he gets older and is ready to try meat, your regular blender will probably struggle with that. We have a really nice blender, but if yours isn’t powerful enough, you can substitute with a food processor. Just cook several chicken breasts with just water (no seasoning). Then take a fresh pea from the supermarket and put it in the blender with a piece or two of chicken, add enough water to make it smooth (make sure that baby is old enough to eat soft raw pea). Freeze that and use it instead of meat to feed babies. Those who smell bad anyway, and the homemade chicken smells delicious.
You can also add formula or breast milk or baby juice to any food to get the right consistency.
Finally, you can also freeze milk in ice cubes. This is really useful if you buy milk in larger quantities than your child can drink before it goes bad. This works well with goat’s milk too, however, the closer you freeze it when it’s fresh, the better the milk will taste when you thaw it and use it. So, if you have milk in the fridge and you know you’ll be leaving for a few days, you can freeze it to make it last longer, and use the cubes when you need fresh milk but don’t have it. These will work well in making your homemade potatoes or baking.
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