Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baby Food: A Love Story

Making my own baby food.

A dream. A goal. A reality. My therapy. My current calling in life.

You may think I'm being dramatic, but it really is so much fun. There is something so satisfying about it. Fresh vegetables, pureed, then organized into little ice cube trays, perfect little healthy meals for baby for weeks to come! And you know me and filling up my freezer. It's a love of my life.

But I didn't always love it!

At first I was overwhelmed. How much to make? How much water to add? Do I add breast milk? How thin do I make it? Can I add spices? How do I know which foods to make? What if the consistency is wrong? I need a book of baby food recipes! I need a water purifier!! Is Poland Spring good water? What about a Brita? Why don't more people have Brita? How do you know that a Brita is actually working? Nothing is as pure as my breast milk! Maybe I'll pump for the rest of baby's life to ensure the purity of her fluids...

Let me tell you - you do not need a baby food recipe book. I actually have come to think that people who write baby food recipe books are slightly maybe a tad bit leaning towards the art of scamming. But who am I to say! Alls I'm sayin''s simple. Simple as pie. Simple as pureeing a peach pie. And then freezing it.

My mama helped me come to this conclusion. She said honey...just puree it!

And so puree I did! Hello fresh greens beans!

Hello pureed green beans!
[Attention: Green beans do not change color when pureed. It was nighttime by the time I took the second picture and lighting stinks at night.]

So here's how I found out what to make: look at what Gerber makes for your age baby. Hee hee. I feel like that's cheating. But you just look at the "first foods"(aka "supported sitter"), and make everything they are selling for that age! They know what's safe, after all.

So here is my beautiful rainbow of baby foods.
We have: butternut squash, bananas, green beans, apples, and pears!
Still on the list to make: sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots!

I don't know why I decided to write Pears! with an exclamation point. I felt it was needed at the time, apparently.

Hello, little pear cubes!

So here are my baby-food-making tips:

1. Thoroughly wash, peel, and cube the fruit or veggie. Be careful with butternut squash, it is very annoying to do. Don't start with that like I did, you may be discouraged.

2. Steam if necessary. Steaming preserves more nutrients than boiling.
[Difference: Steaming involves putting a bit of water in bottom of pot, placing steamer basket in, then the veggie or fruit. Then cover it and simmer until soft.]

3. If the fruit or veggies is soft (bananas, ripe pears, avocados), there is no need to cook it! Blend it up and it will be fine.

4. Once it's all cooked and diced, put it in the food processor. (If you don't have one, you can use a blender. But now is a good time to invest in a Cuisinart food processor! It's amazing.)

5. Keep checking the just needs to be smooth with no chunks. You can add dribbles of either breast milk, or the water from the bottom of your steaming pot! Since this was boiling, it is purified! Not only that, but it has the nutrients from the veggies in it. So throw that in and feel good about it.

6. Once it is nice and smooth (and not sticky, if it's sweet potatoes or butternut squash), put it into ice cube trays! Let it freeze until very solid. Then pop em out and bag em! Be sure to label, the colors can be deceiving.

7. One ice cube is usually one serving! Unless your boopa is a little chunka like mine, then she'll have two! :)

8. Do not go crazy - only make what's in season. I'm not making my own peaches, because it's not in season right now. It would taste icky. So I buy the most natural baby peaches I can find, so baby gets to taste everything!

Hey Mama, where's all this food I keep hearing about? You know, I sleep for 12 hours now! I need my nanas in the mornin!

Well, Baby, we're not having breakfast this morning. I am just going to stare at you and take your picture. Sound good?

Tee hee, Mama, your so silly! Now go get my food, please.

And that is the art of baby-food-makin!

Feel free to ask questions, as you know, it is my passion. I may not know everything, but I know the food baby's getting is fresh and pure and nutritious. And I'm happy with that.

Love & Puree,

Dirt Road Mama


    Love mimi

  2. Love this post... We tried making baby food and it didn't go as well... we tried too hard and over thought things...
    now, when you take the cubes out of the freezer, did you heat them up or let them thaw on their own?
    once you get to chicken and other things, please let me know how that goes, that is where we went wrong!

  3. Depending on the day (if I forget to pre-defrost), I'll micro them for 20 seconds. It makes it warm, and then when I add the cereal and breast milk it goes back to room temp. What happened with chicken? Do the meats get trickier? Haven't looked into it yet, Dr. says he recommends we have a vegetarian for a bit. lol

  4. Stab a few (well, a bunch)of holes with a fork in the butternut squash and microwave for 3-5 minutes on a plate. It will soften so it is easier to peel and cut. Looking forward to the day I can do the same thing :) Beautiful pictures!