I am super excited to introduce you to our new contributor and someone I am honored to call my online friend (one day now that we live close to each other we will meet) Jennifer. She is a mom of four, three beautiful little girls and one angel boy. I am very excited to welcome her to the CrazyCoolCrafty Family!!
Okay, that is a corny title, but perhaps it got your attention. You see, I have an 8 month old baby girl at home and I have decided to make all (or as much as I can) of her baby food. These days with the various social media sites, you can find almost any recipe you want. I took that route. I did some digging. Got a few ideas, but it all came down to what I was willing to feed my little one. You see, in our house we have very varied palates. I have to give all the credit to my husband, he has opened my eyes to many a weird food in our 13 year union (uh…raw octopus, yuck!). I also spoke with a pediatric dietician about the kinds of foods our daughter needs. Since she was a preemie, her requirements tend to be a little different. Let’s face it, she is an awful pooper…just awful. So, using banana to flavor things like spinach is a no-no.
My method is simple, I come up with things that offer the maximum amount of nutrition, but taste good too. Homemade baby food has roughly 25% more calories per serving than store bought and you control the ingredients. Plus by steaming, you maintain the most vitamins and minerals possible. My grocery list consisted of: spinach, kale, apples, pears, bananas, mangoes, carrots, peas, green beans, avocado, and sweet potatoes. The method is simple, steam everything in a large pot with roughly an inch to inch and a half of water in the bottom. I happen to have a small colander that fits inside my pot. Cover it with a lid and simmer until tender. I peeled the carrots and sweet potato, but left the skin on all of the fruits (minus the mango, I bought a bag of organic mango cubes from my favorite store). Once it is tender, I dumped it all in my high power blender and gave it a nice whirl. Use the cooking liquid to thin the puree. Spoon it into ice cube trays and pop them in the freezer. When they are frozen, pop the cubes out and put them in a labeled freezer storage bag. Glass containers are always best, but I haven’t found ones I like yet. These should keep about 3 months if stored in the back of the freezer. Note: I try to buy all organic produce, but it isn’t always possible nor is it always necessary. You can find a comprehensive list of the dirty dozen via Google.
The concoctions I came up with were as follows: Carrots, Mangoes, Pears with cinnamon, Apples with cinnamon, Spinach/Kale/Apples, Avocado/Banana, Peas, Green Beans, Sweet Potato with cinnamon, and plain bananas.
Every batch I made was tested by my 3 year old daughters and approved. In fact, I have to fight them in order for the baby to get her fill…SCORE! They are little herbivore’s though…give them a veggie plate and some olives and they are good to go.
I still buy the ready-made organic pouches for when we are on the go. There are several good quality choices available at your local store, but I would give making your own a whirl. It’s a lot of fun and seeing the happy baby with peas all over her face that you made is very rewarding.