April 22, 2019

An easy way to make baby food purees

I should've finished this post months ago, as now Wells will not eat purees at all. He wants finger food, right in front of him. I love seeing him assert his independence but it usually results in multiple baths a day.

I started out making Wells' baby food in November. I kept a spreadsheet on what I made and what he tried and what he liked and what he didn't. (I feel like I had a lot more time when we lived in Laramie.)

When it came time to try solids, I was really set on the idea of making his food and not buying jars of food. I'm not going to give my full-on opinions of jarred baby food because he's had his share of them anyway, and my opinions were formed by his first pediatrician's opinions. She told us it was much easier and better for him if we just gave him whatever we were eating (which prompted me to think You assume I eat/cook vegetables every day??? and now, yes, we make vegetables every day because at 9+ months, he's eating what we're eating.)

I also really wanted to attempt the baby-led weaning approach but, at 7 months, he was still not feeling it to put things in his mouth on his own. He'd pick up food, smear it around, examine it, etc, but the hand-to-mouth connection wasn't there yet. I had wanted to make sure I gave solids a try before we left Laramie, when we were right down the street from his doctor's office and not in transition with a move. Things were hard enough.

The organic/non-organic argument is strong here too. I try to find organic produce, but I know it likely doesn't matter. I mean, we don't eat organic 100% of the time, so he probably doesn't need to either.

The process for how I made the food was the same for each:

1. Cook/steam,
2. Process/blend
3. Freeze individual servings in ice cube trays
4. Pop out the cubes after they're frozen and store in labeled freezer bags.

I'd pull out one cube for meals, microwave it for 20-30 seconds, and serve.

I also mixed cubes together a lot, as he's grew a bit and wanted more food but, as you'll see below, he started turning down anything with chicken in it pretty quickly, so it was mostly just vegetables that I mixed together.

Green beans, carrots, a little bit of chicken.

ALSO, I was initially mixing a bit of formula to get a smooth consistency, but Wells really likes to feed the dogs, so mixing with water is the better option. As well as, he's got to get used to water and not formula-sweetened veggies at some point. He still had formula in his morning oatmeal but he started refusing oatmeal around 8 months anyway. We'll get back to it eventually.

Finally, the steamer I use is a 12 year old rice cooker that Scott had bought in college. It's never let us down for perfect rice. It has a vegetable steamer basket that goes inside the rice pan. This is nowhere near what we have, but it's an option if you need one.

I used a Vitamix to blend, but that's just because it's the blender we have. Any blender would work. I found that the food processor (ours is 10 years old) actually worked much better for meat.

Sweet Potatoes. This was the first food we tried. I baked the first couple in the oven in foil, but then I peeled, chunked up, and steamed them after that. Blend with a bit of water (they'll be thick), spread into an ice cube tray and freeze.

Carrots. Buy a bag of fresh carrots, wash/peel, and chop into 1 or 2 inch chunks. Put in the steamer for 30 minutes or until soft. Cool. Blend, adding a little water until pureed.

Peas. Buy a bag of frozen peas. Cook in a pan on the stove according to the package directions. Drain the water, reserving a bit for blending. Cool. Blend, adding a little of the water until pureed. He hates peas so much.

Corn. Buy a bag of frozen corn. Cook in a pan on the stove according to the package directions. Drain the water, reserving a bit for blending. Cool. Blend, adding a little of the water until pureed. I usually mix the corn with something else since it's so sweet.

Butternut Squash. Peel, seed, and cube butternut squash. Steam or bake or boil...however you want to cook it. I steamed it so I didn't have to add oil. Cool, blend, and add a little water until pureed.

Zucchini. Clean and slice. I left the peel on. Steaming only took about 10/15 minutes and then I blended with some water. I mixed the zucchini with carrots or corn or something more substantial. I don't think he ever loved it that much.

Green beans. Steam a bag of fresh green beans from the produce section. I pick them over first and rinse them to get rid of any stems. Blend with a bit of water until smooth. Green beans were definitely a favorite.

Apples. Peel and slice pieces off the core. Steam until soft (20-30 minutes?). Blend with a bit of water until smooth. I would mix one of these cubes in with his oatmeal.

Pears. Same as the apples.

(Now, I do the apples and pears in slices to steam and then freeze and I will thaw and cut a slice up each morning with his toast or pancake.)

Mango. After peeling and slicing/chunking a mango, I would steam it in the rice cooker for 20-30 minutes until it was really soft. Then I would blend it with a bit of water and freeze in an ice cube tray. I'd pull one out each morning to thaw in his oatmeal. He really loves mango, still, and eats softened slices himself now.

Avocado. I would mash a few chunks with a fork and then thin it out with formula and he liked it. Also, once he could pick up finger food, avocado was a huge hit. His first pediatrician said it makes for a great first food too. I never froze avocado, but a ripe one would last a few days in the fridge (wrap it in saran wrap, with the pit in tact, and then put it in a ziploc bag and squeeze out all the air).

Banana. I mashed ripe bananas with a potato masher and froze it in small cubes. I'd mix a cube with oatmeal in the morning or peanut butter at lunch.

Chicken. I put some chicken breast tenders in the crockpot with a little water. After it cooled, I shredded it in the food processor and froze it in cubes. I would usually mix one cube of chicken with a cube of vegetables. He rarely ate this, but I thought it was a nice idea. Once he started picking chicken up with his fingers, it became something he would eat.

We've also done peanut butter and egg, but I mixed the peanut butter with banana at first and I scrambled egg, chopped it up finely, and mixed it with sweet potatoes. Now, I will give him peanut butter on toast or a cracker and I'll give him small pieces of scrambled eggs.

Peas, Corn, Chicken

Heated for three 30-second intervals in the microwave

So that's my baby food-making experience. It wasn't hard at all, to be honest. It was much easier than making sure all food is cooked, seasoned, and cut up properly and safely. This phase of him putting everything in his mouth as food is much more difficult!

1 comment:

  1. Good job making healthy choices for your cutie pie!!! I think natural 100% REAL foods make a huge difference in their growing health


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