Monday, March 25, 2013

Adventures in Making Baby Food

Now that Haley is old enough to start eating "real" foods, I thought I would try my hand at making some of my own for her. Inspired by this blog post, I ordered my groceries and got to work.

The ingredients:
Peas, apples, sweet potatoes, pears, bananas, pumpkin (canned), broccoli and carrots. I ordered organic for everything except the bananas, since you toss the peel anyway. The apples were Honey Crisp - the MN State Apple! What a lucky girl to have her first apples be Honey Crisp. They are seriously the best!

The tools:
I have a bullet-type blender from JC Penny of all places. It was only $30 and it definitely works the best for this. The nice thing is that it rinses off easily for the next batch of food, but the downside is that it doesn't hold a ton either. I have also heard that immersion blenders are great for making baby food. Perhaps I will have to pick one up. 

I also got a couple sets of ice cube trays from Target. I pre-washed them since you never know who might have touched them before you brought them home. Yuck...seriously, yuck.

I also picked up a pack of Ziploc Steam Fresh bags. They are super easy to use, make for less clean up and have directions for all sorts of fruits and veggies right on the bag.

The process:
Ummm...steam then blend. That is really about it! I put the food in the blender and let 'er rip until I see that it is VERY smooth. If your blender looks stuck - add water. I noticed the broccoli and carrots needed A LOT more coaxing than anything else. 

After everything was steamed and blended, I put the food into the ice cube trays, froze and then moved them into labeled freezer bags so I could do more batches. 

The results:
I am in love with the process - so easy! I started out with just 2 sweet potatoes, 1 bag of peas, 1 can of pumpkin and 2 apples and that filled up all SIX of my ice cube trays.

I have been making things in small batches here or there when I have time. For instance, when I am looking my own dinner I just do this at the same time and then freeze and bag what I made later (like after bedtime)!

I love that I know what is IN there - no preservatives  etc. I'm certainly not opposed to buying baby food, but this is so cheap and easy that I will probably just keep doing this as long as it is convenient for me. 

I can't wait until Haley has tried enough single foods to start making some fun combos. So far, she has done oatmeal and when she got sick of just that we started mixing in peas (liked), sweet potatoes (loved) and bananas (couldn't get enough!).

Combos I'm thinking of in the future (some are from the blog I mentioned at the beginning of this post):
  • Pumpkin and banana
  • Squash (or pumpkin) and apple
  • Broccoli and apple
  • Spinach, peas and pears
  • Avocado (and fruit!)
  • Mixed grains and sweet potato
I am excited to see what I can come up with and to see what Haley likes (and doesn't)!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bigger, Bigger

Haley is getting bigger by the day, but she is still my tiny princess. At 6 months, she still only weighed in at 11 lbs! Too cute. Her favorite activities are chewing on things (no teeth yet, though), trying to pull Wally's ears and eyelids, grabbing and eating her feet and scooting on her back. I keep telling her if she puts all her energy into crawling instead of scooting, she'd be an expert. She doesn't listen...