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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Homemade Baby Food

Just last week I was blessed to spend time with a friend making baby food for her little one.  I have made all the baby food for my older 2 children and look forward to doing it for Chazaq when he's ready.  If you're interested, here's the simple steps!  It's so easy and so cost effective!  Plus you know exactly what ingredients are going into what your baby eats!

All you need are some ice cube trays, some zip loc freezer bags, a marker and whatever fruits and veggies you want to prepare for your little one.

I like to start with veggies.   Some of my favorites are winter squashes like butternut, acorn & spaghetti, sweet potatoes, carrots, & beets (although, beware-it causes purple poop!). Most fruits you can simply puree without cooking if they are ripe enough.  Ones I like to use are pears, peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots. 

For the winter squash I cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, place them in a 9 x 13 pyrex baking dish with and bake at 400 degrees for 1hour to an hour & 15 min.  I use the time it's baking to prep carrots, beets, or spinach and to puree the fruit.  You can steam or boil them.  Use as little water as possible and reserve it for thinning the purees.  Once you have the veggies cooked, puree them and pour them into your ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap.  I leave mine to freeze overnight then pop them out into the freezer bags labeled with the date and type of food. 

To thaw, just place a couple of cubes in a bowl in the fridge to thaw.  My pediatrician recommended trying the same food for a few days before introducing a new one.  Once your baby has had a good assortment, you can start to mix and match to disguise foods he doesn't like or to just make it a little more interesting.

I like to keep a stash of purees in the freezer even without a baby in the house.  The winter squashes and carrot purees are great to add into our Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and the girls don't know they are eating veggies while still getting one of their favorite meals.  And the fruit can be added to yogurt and you have a nice smoothie!

I know I've enjoyed making food for my little ones.  Hopefully these tips will give you a little inspiration to try it out for yourself!  Have fun!

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