When Cohen was old enough to eat solids I ran out to the store and scooped up every fruit and veggie Gerber made in Stage 1 foods. Then when he got older I graduated to Stage 2 and then Stage 3. However at Stage 3 he started to get picky and this was when he turned from loving food to only eating his favorites. Plus let's get real -- this stuff gets expensive as your kid eats more and more food. I decided to try a new approach with Lola this time and make all of her purees. I wanted to expose her to different foods and keep bringing them back to her meals so she wouldn't forget tastes and textures. After doing a little research I realized how ridiculously easy it is t make baby food and feel kind of embarrassed I didn't do this witch Cohen. Let me help save you from this embarrassment and teach you how to make your own baby food simply and easily.
You will need:
I'm not kidding. That's it.
Well plus the foods you are making but I'm telling you it's seriously this easy. Kurtis bought me a super nice Ninja blender and it has worked just fine. If you have a food processor that would work just as well too. Check the dollar store for ice cube trays. I found mine at Kroger for $1 and I got 2 in a pack. When buying gallon size plastic bags do buy the ones that are specifically made for the freezer. Also keep in mind you may want to double bag your food to prevent freezer burn, so double up on the quantities.
I then make my foods and blend them up until they are the consistency that I want. Next I pour them into the ice cube trays and freeze. Finally when they are frozen, I pop the cubes out and store them into labeled plastic bags.
That's it my friends!
I started off super smooth the first few months and then keep them thicker as Lola has gotten older. One suggestion I have is to start by making your purees thicker. Then you can use breast milk or formula to thin it out before feeding your babe. Plus if you are mixing these in with rice cereal or oatmeal, you may want them a little bit thicker anyways. But if you do want to add water while making your food start off by adding just a little bit at a time.
Below are the foods I've made and how I've made them. I don't blend different flavors together when I'm making the food, especially since you don't want to start off blending foods when you are first starting your little one on solids to help prevent allergies. My suggestion is you defrost and mix cubes later on so you can try any combination that you want because you'll never know what will kick in that gag reflex!
Butternut or Yellow Squash
--Cut in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until it is soft. Scoop into blender and blend.
--Poke your potato with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees in the middle of your top rack for about an hour or until your potato is soft. When cooked, cut in half and take off the skin. Cut into pieces and blend, using 1/4 cup of water. Add or decrease the water based on the consistency you are looking to make.
--Cut avocado into pieces and blend, using 1/4 cup of water.
*My avocado cubes have stayed bright green each time I have made and frozen them! No browning at all!
--Cut into pieces and blend, using 1/4 cup of water.
--Cut carrots into small pieces and place into a pot. Fill up pot with water until the carrots are just covered. Cook and simmer on low until carrots are soft when poked with a fork. Drain carrots and blend. I usually add a little bit of water to make sure they aren't too chunky.
Apples and Pears
--Cut into small pieces and place in pot filled with water. Cook and simmer until pieces are soft when poked with a fork. Place into blender adding a bit of the water. Blend until smooth.
**I have made both of these with and without the peels and have found that both ways work just fine, it just depends if you want to take to the time to peel your fruits!
--Make sure your peaches are soft and cut into small pieces Blend until smooth.
--I used fresh green beans and started by cutting off the ends and simmering in water until they were tender. Next drain and blend until smooth.
--The easiest way I have found to make peas is by using a bag of frozen peas. I made them up until they were soft and tender, then blended them to the consistency I wanted before pouring them into cubes and freezing them.
--Wash the blueberries and throw them into the blender. Blend away!
Since I am saving a ton by making my own food I do buy mainly organic fruits and vegetables. I do suggest you at least follow the Dirty Dozen list and purchase those fruits and vegetables organic, but it's totally your preference. Before you get crazy and make up huge batches of certain foods, be sure your babe likes them first because that would be terrible if you spent time and money making a huge amount of baby food your kiddo doesn't even like! But I told you, the whole making baby food process is too easy not to try to do on your own. I'm no Martha Stewart but if I can do it -- you totally can do it.
Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!