I borrowed several books on the subject of home made baby food from the library. I finally settled on Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for your Baby and Toddler. I have made 4 recipes so far and they have all been easy, cheap (even for organic ingredients), and yummy. The nice thing about Baby Love is that it has a ton of pictures, anecdotes, and includes meals for toddlers, older children, and adults. It will have more longevity that some of its counterparts that focus on the first year.
The method the book uses for the baby recipes is to cook, blend, and freeze in ice cube trays. It works out beautifully, although as you can see, my cubes are suffering from mild ice crystals – it doesn’t seem to change the flavor though. I have been using zip lock brand freezer bags, but I’m looking into getting one of those foodsaver contraptions used on ebay to see if that helps. Each recipe so far has filled two ice cube trays, and about 2 quart sized bags. I keep one bag in the main freezer and the other in our chest freezer.
As you can see here, I also have some frozen organic peaches, mangos, and a banana all waiting to be processed into food. Being winter, we don’t have access to organic fruit that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, so I have been stocking up on frozen fruit and veggies from Peapod. The farmer’s market opens again in our area soon. I’m really looking forward to incorporating fresh local produce into Kaylee’s diet. And, speaking of frozen bananas, here’s a quick tip, if they are going bad before you get a chance to use them you can put them in the freezer. The whole skin will turn brown but the fruit itself stays yellow. You wouldn’t want to eat them straight up, but they are great in any recipe that calls for bananas, like my signature shake.
For the past month I have made one recipe a week, typically on Sunday mornings. It usually doesn’t take any longer than cooking breakfast, and once the batch is made, it is just a matter of microwaving individual servings on demand. I started out with apple, banana, pear, which I modified to leave out the pears because we didn’t have any, and instead of regular flax I added blueberry flax from Trader Joes. Kaylee absolutely loves it.
Next we tried Blueberry, Pineapple, banana – which is very messy and does stain. Because of this she hasn’t had much of it. The following week I made the edamame & pea puree, which was listed as an 8 month recipe and came out rather chunky. After a few bites I decided she really wasn’t ready for it and we will wait a few weeks before giving her more. Yesterday I made creamy cauliflower, which turns out very much like super smooth mashed potatoes. Kaylee really liked this one too. I have also been able to use up the rest of my breast milk stash by adding one cube of BM along with one cube of food.
As for the meal preparations, originally we were using ramekins to heat up Kaylee’s food. Then we saw these Dutig bowls in the toy section at Ikea. They are the perfect size, made of stoneware, and are food safe. In case you are wondering, I have already dropped one on the floor and it didn’t break. After doing some research, I read that some plastics have been found to leech chemicals into food when heated. Most plastics listed as microwave safe are (you really shouldn’t heat up saran wrap or take out containers), but I don’t want to take any chances, and besides, these bowls are adorable and when she grows out of them she can use them for her dolls.
Mommy’s little helper wearing her new jammies from Old Navy. Wooden spoons make the best toys!