Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Feed Me, Seymour!

Fun Fact #1:  I very much dislike cooking, but I really like making baby food.  That fact probably isn't very "fun" actually.  We'll just call this Fact #1.  But what I'm saying is, I make baby food.  And I enjoy it.  So I thought I'd tell you about it.  If you don't really care about making baby food, feel free to scroll down to the bottom and look at the cute pictures of the twins, then move on.  If you have a small baby or are pregnant and you are outraged by the price of baby food, keep reading.

First off, figure out what you want to make.  Hint:  don't pick apples.  When I started making food for Xander, I spent half an afternoon peeling and cooking apples to make food for him, then someone told me I could have just bought unsweetened applesauce.  Don't let that happen to you.  Just buy unsweetened applesauce.  But you can make almost anything - sweet potatoes, squash, pears, green beans, etc.  This time I made baby carrots (because it's what I had on hand) and peas.

Next, be sure to get a babysitter while you work.  Preferably one that will work for Goldfish crackers.  And only wears underwear.  Inside out.




Now that you've got entertainment worked out, let's get started.  You'll want to get the food mushy first.  Some foods, like bananas or avocados, are mushy enough already, so you can just start with blending.  (I don't even blend bananas; just mash.)  Some things you can bake - like sweet potatoes.  Most things, like the carrots, I steam.


After they are soft, just throw the food into your blender or food processor.  They make these cute little blender things made especially for baby food.  If someone gives you one, that's awesome; your experience will be even cuter than mine.  But if you don't have one, don't buy one.  Your blender or food processor will work just fine.

 

This is about half of the bag of baby carrots.  Just blend it up to the consistency you want.  Older babies who have been eating food for a while can have food thicker and chunkier than if this is the first time they are eating.  Right now the twins are just learning to eat baby food, so I make a fairly thin puree.


Not quite there yet.  To help make the food thinner, you can add some breastmilk, formula, water, or even applesauce (not homemade!).


That's about right for us.  Now we need to freeze some of this.  Again, they make really adorable baby food storage/freezer containers.  You don't need them.  Ice cube trays work great.  (We have the silicone kind now, but had plastic ones when I made Xander's food.  Both work fine.)  Just spoon it in. . .


Then gently tap the tray to get all of the food level on top.


You can add a little more to the ones that aren't as full.  Then just cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer until they are solid.  After that, pop them out and put them in a gallon-sized freezer bag, labeled with what the food is and when you made it.


Obviously this is a shot of sweet potato cubes I made last month.  It's lasting me a while because the twins have just not been interested in food until the past week or so.

Now here is where I differ from a lot of make-your-own-food-mamas.  I buy one pre-made container of each food that I want to make, for two reasons.  1.  I don't want to make 47 servings of something, just to realize my baby is allergic to it.  So we try the store-bought stuff first, then wait a few days before making my own.  (No allergies yet, thank goodness!)  2.  Then I have several of these nifty containers:


So when I want to thaw out a serving (or two, in our case), I just put them in here and stick them in the fridge.  (Note:  When your baby is just starting to eat, one cube is one serving.  As he gets bigger and eats more, 2 cubes will be more like one serving.)


This time I thought I'd try mixing some foods to see if the babies liked that more, so I threw in the rest of my carrots and added some peas.


Be sure to only buy the freshest, greenest, most flavorful organic peas.  They look like this:


Really, you can definitely buy peas and get them out of the pods and all that, but I just bought a can.  Just make sure the only ingredients are peas and water.  Just blend up the same way.  This one I made a bit thicker - and they liked it!  Since the other steps are pretty much the same, let's just skip all of that and get to the baby pictures, yes?  Here they are, SO excited to try baby food again.  At the mere mention of it, they started chewing on their bibs!


Paxton is a fan.


Piper is playing it cool, but she liked it too.


So there you have it.  If you have babies that need food, consider making it yourself.  Not only is it inexpensive and easy (one bag of baby carrots and one can of peas made around 32 servings), but your baby will love it so much that he'll lick the bowl!


2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Cathy! But I'm really just trying to keep my head above water most days. :)

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