Recently Sabrina started eating solid foods. And, being the handy make it yourself gal that I am, I got pretty excited about making my own baby food. I enjoyed feeding Ryder the first time around, but to be honest I kind of slacked off when it came to really incorporating lots of different vegetables into his food. Now, I can't get the boy to eat anything. But this time I decided I'd really get into it and expose Sabrina to lots of different foods - creatively.
I didn't tread these waters un-educated. I have an excellent website that I use as a guide for introducing babies to solid foods as well as coming up with good ideas for different food mixtures. This amazing, brilliant and easy to use guide is simply titled: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/. They have all kinds of information on food and babies, including age charts, diaries, puree recipes, and storage info. Best. Website. Ever.
So, armed with knowledge from the website and common sense suggestions from my mom, I dove into this whole new world of baby food making. The latest thing is the pouch. Every mom knows that pouches are super convenient and usually well liked by most babies, and even older kids. Well, now you can make your own!! That's right, they make a sweet little contraption that allows you to fill your own pouches.
WHAT?!? And for all of you that don't like disposable and want to reuse, they even make re-fillable pouches!! Loving it! My sweet sis-in-law bought me this wonderful tool a few months ago; however we did lose it in the fire. But never fear! I have replaced it and now I can't imagine not having it! When using the disposable pouch, it costs approx. 28 cents a piece. Way cheaper than the store bought pouch and you fill it with your own fresh made fruits and veggies! It's called the Infantino Squeeze Station and you can order it online at Walmart or Target.com.
So, getting back to this whole making your own baby food business, I usually take the time to make up purees about once a week, and it varies how long they last me because it depends on our schedule for the week. And how many Ryder eats (yes, the child that won't touch veggies with a ten foot pole will scarf them down if they're in a pouch. Toddlers, right?). So today I decided I would document my process and give everyone a play by play of how I go about making these precious little suckers (ha! suckers! ha!).
Here are the flavors for today:
Green Bean, Zucchini & Pear with Basil
Carrot, Oatmeal Apple
Sweet Potato Oatmeal
Sweet Potato Apple Cinnamon
So here's what you start with. Looks like a bunny or a horse would eat it right? Here's what I used:
1 large sweet potato
half a good size zucchini
6 good sized carrots
approximately 1 1/4 c. green beans
(you could just do one cup but I was using up the bag)
Fresh stuff all the way, except for my green beans. They were home grown then frozen so I figured they would be just as good if not better than store bought. Amount of pouches/feedings will vary depending on the size and amount of your produce. Adjust accordingly. Also, you may want to have some breast milk pumped up, about 1-2 oz per puree batch. You can use water instead if there isn't breast milk available.
Start out by cooking the produce that needs it. In this case, I cooked the green beans, zucchini, sweet potato and carrots. Since I was combining them anyway I cooked the green beans and zucchini together. Cook the veggies until they are at a mashable consistency.
Quite a stove full! You also need to cook your grain. I used oatmeal because that's what I had. You can use rice too. I used 1/2 c. of dry oats to 1 c. water. This time around I found it better to get everything cooked up at once first, then blend and fill. Less chaos, especially when you're making more than one type of puree. And when you have a 2.5 year old playing with trains and puzzles under your feet.
Once it's all cooked, start blending things together.
For the green bean puree, start by blending your pear. Peel and chop it then stick it in the processor. Add a splash of water and blend until it's the consistency of applesauce.
Now you add your green beans and zucchini with about 1-2 oz breast milk or water. I added approximately 1 tsp of basil as well to this very large batch. A note: take it easy with the spices because they can get too strong pretty quick!
Here is what you get when you're finished processing. I didn't get a blender picture because I had to run it in batches. This made a good size batch!
Next we have the Sweet Potato Oatmeal puree.
I used about half my large sweet potato and half my oatmeal batch. Add 1-2 oz breast milk and process till smooth. I think I had to add a little more water to get the right consistency. Adjust to your own preference.
Next it's the Sweet Potato Apple Cinnamon puree.
Like the pear sauce, you want to process your apple first. Peel and chop, process with water until applesauce consistency.
Add the other half of the sweet potato, 1-2 oz breast milk and a dash of cinnamon. A note: cinnamon may cause your baby's skin to turn a little red around his/her mouth. Usually it doesn't bother them and it disappears quickly, but do monitor how it affects them.
Process until smooth and desired consistency.
Last, but certainly not least, the Carrot Apple Oatmeal puree.
Again, process your apple until you get applesauce. Here's what it looks like.
Add your carrots, blend.
Add oatmeal and a dash of cinnamon. Blend until smooth and desired consistency.
Here's a beautiful carrot puree!
Now you have all four purees ready to be put into your pouches!
Using your hand-dandy Infantino Squeeze Station, fill your pouches till you just can't fill anymore.
Here is my yield for the day: 5 Carrot, 6 Green Bean, 3 Sweet Potato Oatmeal, and 3 Sweet Potato Apple. Sometimes I have just a smidgen extra, so I give it to Ryder or keep it in a container for later feedings at home.
Sabrina LOVES her food! She's just scarfing down this batch of carrots! So far, I haven't found anything she won't eat. We might have a little foodie! I wish I got a picture of Ryder sucking down his carrot puree but he was too quick! That's something else that's nice about the pouches; they're great for toddlers and kids too!
I always made sure my kids had water when they ate food. Keeps things moving the way they should be!
Making your own baby food is messy and time consuming, but it gives your baby a good introduction to healthy foods. You could always do a little every day, making one flavor at a time instead of four at once, whatever works for your schedule and lifestyle.
I hope you enjoyed my "journaling." Have fun making food!