Need Help re Homemade Baby Food

Though I did end up passing on cloth diapers (we have really hard water and I have some other reservations... besides my main motive was way off-I simply think they are really stinking cute!), as a result I am even more committed to making my own baby food this time around.  I spent a fortune on Charlie's baby food and bought every brand under the sun in attempt to give him variety.  Then it was that much longer to transition him to what we were eating...I don't mind paying for some pricy gadget if it can make life easier and live up to the hype.  I figure I am still saving.

It seems like every time I turn around someone is doing this IRL and now on the blogs too.  For those who have gone into these unchartered waters, what helped?  What did you wish you knew going in?  Lessons learned, etc.  Did you freeze in single cubes (1 oz or 2) or those connected ones or simply ice cube trays (were they bpa free?).  Did you have a cookbook that was really helpful?  Did you steam and puree in one helpful gadget?  I have heard of a few.  I am a zero when it comes to cooking skills so I need to know how much water to add to steam, etc.  I think if I can figure it out, I will stick with it.  I like being able to go organic cheaper, have a good variety, know what my baby is eating, etc.  Saving money is a definite bonus!


Tridentine Wife said...

1. Check out wholesomebabyfoods.com, I also bought a book called 'Super Baby Foods" and a William-Sonoma baby food cookbook as well.

2. I use a veggie steamer that came with our rice cooker to steam all veggies. You could also purchase a steamer basket to fit in your saucepans.

3. I used regular ice cube trays (never even thought about BPA free, but since I didn't microwave them, I think it was okay).

4. To puree foods, I found a blender was most useful rather than a food processor. You don't necessarily need a fabcy gadget just use whatever appliance you already have: blender, food processor etc.

5. I found that bulk cooking on a Saturday or Sunday worked best, that way you have your foods done and ready to go for the week.

Second Chances said...

I have no idea! But I admire you for doing it!

Sew said...

I'm looking into infant lead solids....I haven't googled it yet but I'm really interested! ;) My GF told me about it. :) My mother bought me a baby food maker with cookbook from william & sonoma. OMGOSH! The recipes sound so good I will eat them! ;)

Anonymous said...

With my dd I used a steamer basket in pot and then either mashed with a potato masher or put it in a regular blender. Nothing fancy required. I did use bpa-free ice cube trays and they worked really well for me. For recipes/how to cook, I used "Super Baby Foods" and the website feedinglittlefoodies.com. DD really liked anything I cooked from that website.

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

This is my go-to for what to feed and when:http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/317-nourishing-a-growing-baby?qh=YTo0OntpOjA7czo0OiJiYWJ5IjtpOjE7czo0OiJmb29kIjtpOjI7czo1OiJmb29kcyI7aTozO3M6OToiYmFieSBmb29kIjt9

1. I keep the texture as close to "real" as possible. I try not to "over"-puree. A's first food was avocado chunks.

2. I roast her sweet potatoes and butternut squash, then add a touch of water and blend it. Then I use the ice cube trays. Every morning I get out a couple cubes and put them in the fridge to defrost for the evening. It could not be easier.

3. Ditto for the meat, except that I'll make an extra chicken breast, salmon fillet, or slice of liver (she gobbles it up!) and then freeze in ice cube trays.

4. When I traveled home last month, I thought, "I'll just buy baby food there. It will be easier." but then when I started thinking about what A eats, I decided it would actually be easier to continue to make it myself! So I did!

5. A typical food day for her:
BREAKFAST: soft boiled egg yolk and yogurt (I boil several eggs at a time and label them "SB" to have ready.)
LUNCH: avocado- maybe banana, but this is new
DINNER: sweet potatoes or squash and some sort of meat or fish.

So you see, the only "cubes" I need are for dinner! You can totally do it, girl. It's cheap, easy, and GOOD!!!

Anonymous said...

I second the wholesomebabyfoods.com website, and the idea that you don't need to buy any fancy gizmo to puree or steam. Just use whatever blender/food processor you already have and add a little water bit by bit to get a texture that you think baby will like as his tastes change. I did a lot of bulk cooking (steaming or baking, depending on the veg) on the weekends or as I cooked regular dinners (like throwing sweet potatoes in the oven after something else baked, and then pureeing them later). Cooking in bulk also helps you to capitalize when organic stuff goes on sale! I did buy the KidCo trays to freeze in, which I loved b/c they were a little bigger than ice cube-sized (helpful as baby's appetite grew) and they come with a lid which cuts down on freezer burn. One awesome article I read in Parents magazine suggested giving babies food from every plant family before they turn one, plus starting them on a variety of herbs and spices to broaden their palate before they get to the picky toddler stage. We did this with our son and he eats EVERYTHING now - I am truly floored that it actually worked. We started with basil in green beans, cinnamon in apples or pears, cumin with chickpeas mashed up, etc.

Fertile Thoughts said...

I am counting on you getting a lot of advice on this post as I am looking for suggestions as well :) I need to email for nap advice/ night time sleep advice as I think I may have created some bad habits with my baby girl...AH!

Jill said...

I just typed a huge, long post and blogger wouldn't let me post it (error). Ugh!

Call me with any questions....I did it and loved it. The way I learned was I had 2 people who made their own baby food and I would constantly call or text them with questions. I also read a baby food cookbook and the wholesome foods website. Be careful on what not to fix yourself...some foods, like carrots, let our chemicals when steamed.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am new here. I have a little girl who is almost 9 months. My best friend and I have both made our own baby food and it is totally worth the effort. My little one has had tummy problems from day one, but we have done great with the transition to food. My advice just get yourself a good blender and skip the fancy machines. Also, after only a couple of months we are already transiting to more solid foods (small, extremely soft things) so honestly I wouldn't spend much on cookbooks either since you need to do single veggies and fruits first. By the time we got through those we started giving her more solids. I do have some Annabel Karmel trays to freeze and they have been great because they have a lid so they stack in the freezer until I am ready to put the cubes in ziplocs and the cubes are more like 2 oz size. We started on veggies (green peas, green beans, carrots, squash...) and then moved to fruit. Fruit takes a little longer than veggies. Check out your grocery stores freezer section for fruit. Read the labels carefully but I have found several that have no sweetners and no additives that work great for purees.

Julie said...

Super Baby Food = great resource!
The one thing I don't like about the book is that she suggests using the microwave to cook.defrost stuff. We haven't used a microwave for over 16 months for any thing so I am not going to ruin her baby food by microwaving all the nutrients out of it. Don't even get me started!

I use ice cube trays to freeze the veggies and fruit purees. I blend them in a food processor and actually have to blend them up very well because otherwise Bella gags on them. She still gags on chunky stuff at 11 months so I am guess she has a sensitive gag reflex.

WheelbarrowRider said...

This is such wonderful advice! I am compiling it and will repost. Thank you!

Jasmine said...

I tried all sorts of devices (since they were on hand... mini food processor, blender, hand cranked food mill) for blending the baby food, and ended up preferring my stick blender (you know the kind you put in a pot of soup) best! Plus you can avoid the BPA issue with the plastics from the aforementioned devices (my stick blender is mostly metal). I also recommend silicon trays for freezing so you can pop out one serving at a time. Handy if you are like me and only do small batches. I do have one made by a baby company, but before that silicon muffin pans worked perfect. If you nest it in a metal muffin pan, than you don't have to worry about it being wobbly. And than I put a "lid" on it with one of my lids for a baking dish. I would also use frozen organic veggies since they often have a higher nutritional value than fresh so long as the frozen veggie is a tasty option in your opinion. Costco has great prices on frozen organic veggies.