Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Making Homemade Baby Food

Well this is long overdue but I suppose I might as well post it as I have so many friends and family members having babies. My daughter is now 1, and my how the time flew! I knew I would want to make homemade baby food when the time came just because I enjoy cooking and I thought, key word is thought, I would have the time. I quit my job as a middle school teacher to become a stay at home mom. Because I always have to stay busy I thought making baby homemade baby food would be a fantastic idea. I was right, it was! However, do not make the mistake, it is time consuming in a sense. If I was a working mom, like so many women out there, I would have chosen to spend my "off" time doing something other than standing in the kitchen pureeing food. With that said, I will dive into the basics of homemade baby food and how it has helped my toddler transition to adult table food.

I started by finding the best website to help with basic cooking methods of vegetables and fruit. After much research I came across this website. It has so much good information, ideas, and basic cooking instructions for vegetables and fruit. I baked or steamed everything and then pureed them. I then froze them in ice cube trays and popped them out and stored them in freezer bags. They can store up to 3 months; 3 cubes = 1 jar of baby food.

I started with the less sweet vegetables and moved my way up to the fruit. I steamed green beans, peas, squash, zucchini, carrots, and all the fruit (except bananas). I baked sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and acorn squash. I put all the meat, chicken, turkey, pork loin, and rump roast, in the crockpot to cook all day so it would get extra tender. I would spend about 2 hours cooking, pureeing and freezing everything. This doesn't sound like much time but as a stay at home mom, I had that time. For those who only have the weekends to spend with their precious children, 2 hours can be a decade. That is why I would simply buy baby food if I was a working mom.

The perks of making homemade baby food is the ability to change the consistency to gradually lead your baby into thicker more chunky foods. At 7 months, my daughter was chewing smaller pieces of her fruits and veggies and eating table foods. By 9 months, we no longer made baby food and she only ate what we had at each meal. The older my daughter got, the more she was wanting something different. So I started to mix the foods together and try new and different foods. Please talk to your pediatrician and make sure this is acceptable for your child.  This may not be the case with your little one so do what is right for him or her.

Now that my daughter is eating table foods, I simply bake all my veggies in slices and then cut them into cubes and freeze them. Now they are finger foods made just for my sweet toddler.

Things I Learned

My daughter preferred to eat the green beans and peas from a can instead of fresh or frozen. I just bought the no salt added cans.

When it was time for finger foods, I found that the frozen slices of carrots, squash, and zucchini, along with the frozen broccoli and cauliflower were easy when steamed in the Ziploc steamfresh bags. The bags are easy to use and really quick. It allowed me to put only the amount my daughter would eat for that meal in and steam in just a couple of minutes in the microwave. Then I lightly seasoned it in the bag and served it to her. She loved it and it wasted no time. I would choose to steam veggies in this bag if I lacked the time to steam it in a pot.

I had a baby bullet that I used to puree which was excellent. However, I received it as a gift and wouldn't have spent the money on it. Instead a blender or a food processor works just as well if not better. Try those instead.

If your little one won't eat some veggies, try steaming them in the microwave in apple juice instead of water. It will sweeten it and keep the nutritional value you're looking for.

I loved every minute of making baby food and will do it again for my future children. I hope you will enjoy this adventure and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Children are a blessing and enjoy every minute with them!

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Welcome to the Mortashed Family!!

I was recently married in February of 2011 and am enjoying newlywed life. My husband and I have welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Adalynn, into our family in January of 2013. She will be the inspiration behind many of my crafty projects. Thanks to my hardworking husband, I have become a stay at home mom while I put my teaching career on the back burner. Being a mom is extremely rewarding and wouldn't trade it for anything. I love crafting, baking, and cooking as a lot of others do as well. My craft projects will be diverse but simple to follow as I have limited time with a baby on hand. I hope you enjoy these Do It Yourself projects and delicious dishes and baked goods!