June 19, 2014

Homemade Baby Food Made Simple

A Great Way to Save Money
When I had my first baby I knew I wanted to try making his food. It seemed like a great way to save money while allowing me to provide him with the best nutrition possible. However, most of the information I found made it seem complicated and overwhelming.

The Truth:
It's no more difficult than making dinner.

The easiest way to make baby food:
Cook foods in a small slow cooker.
Puree with an immersion blender
Freeze individual servings in small disposable containers.

Yes, it really is that Simple.

Some Basic Guidelines:
Look for "OverRipe" fruit for better prices or use fruit that's getting too ripe for you to enjoy.
Cherries, which were on the verge of going bad, and an Apple

I loved using Baby Carrots: They're already peeled and roughly chopped. They are a great food to start with because carrots are hard to overcook and most babies love them.
Try using frozen fruits/veggies: Because frozen produce is typically picked and frozen at it's peak the nutritional content is optimal, plus it's less prep-work for you

For Older Babies:
Start mixing multiple flavors together
Add Meats, Beans and Grains
Brown Rice, Quinoa, Dried Beans(cook overnight in crockpot): High in fiber and very inexpensive.
Chicken Thighs: Dark meat contains more iron than light meat, babies need Iron.
Leftover Pot Roast.
Whole Grain Pasta
Spices: Adding mild spices to Baby's food can make it more palatable and help prepare them to transition to the flavors of table food. Avoid salt (and bouillons), sugar and butter. The goal is to help Baby begin life with optimal nutrition, not acclimate Him/Her to eating potato chips

Carrots and Celery. I mixed some of this up with leftover Pot Roast, and some with Chicken Thighs and Brown Rice
Avoid highly fibrous foods such as Broccoli, Celery, and Grapes until Baby is transitioning more to solids. Those "stringy things" can be tough to chew and swallow.
***Keep in mind that homemade baby food will be much higher in fiber than store-bought food, unless you strain it. If you switch from one to the other quickly it could make Baby constipated or give Him/Her the runs. No Fun.

Recipes? No need.
Use your own meals or store-bought baby food for guidelines.
ex. Beef and Vegetable baby food: Roast, Peas, Carrots, Onion
Keep in mind that Baby needs lots of fruits/veggies, some grains, and after 8 months some meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, yogurt and cottage cheese. 
Most fruits should be cooked to make them easier to digest and kill any bacteria or mold spores.

Other methods:
If you prefer just blending up what you're eating for dinner that night and feeding immediately a
Magic Bullet or Baby Bullet might be a good option. There are also inexpensive food mills for smaller amounts.

Of course, a regular blender or food processor will work just fine. I prefer the immersion style because it's easier to clean up.
Many people prefer to freeze food in ice cube trays, because a typical cube size is 1 oz. and you can thaw as many or as few cubes as you'd like.

Happy Cooking.

Leave a Comment if you have Questions, or Share a combination your little person enjoyed.

If you want specific recipes and more detailed instructions try visiting http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/

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