Sunday, September 16, 2012

Adventures in baby food

About two weeks ago, I made my first batch of baby food.  Holla!  I won’t lie, it took the whole damn day but that’s mostly because of all the breaks I took with baby girl and less about the time it actually took to purée the goods.  We were preparing for the arrival of Georgia’s brother, so G was in the backyard pulling weeds while I was in the kitchen puréeing everything in sight.  Normally this arrangement would have worked out just fine, however Grace has become much more aware of her surroundings lately, i.e. her toys and wants to rotate “play stations” often.  Because of this, one toy no longer occupies her time for more than about 20 minutes, which means that as I was making baby food I was also taking breaks to get her situated with a new activity, diaper change, feeding, bottle, etc.  I’m telling you, this kid is turning me into a master multi-tasker!

For Grace’s first month of eating solids she ate Gerber Organic 1st foods.  I read on a few blogs and on babycenter.com that sampling store bought food in the beginning allows you to determine what your baby likes vs. can’t stand and what foods are safe/allergy free before making a huge batch of something you may not end up using.  This made perfect sense to me so that’s what we did.  For my first adventure in baby food making I puréed avocado, sweet potatoes, peas, apples, bananas, carrots and yellow squash.  I used ice trays to freeze the food after it was puréed and once frozen I emptied the ice trays into labeled freezer bags.  This is both a space saver and allows me to easily identify which food is which and how long I have before it expires.  According to the BB book, you have roughly one month to use any puréed, frozen food because unlike processed baby food, there aren’t any preservatives.

I decided to do a little math because I was curious as to how much money we would save by going the homemade food route.  I purchased the organic fruits and veggies at a market and it cost $24 for everything.  With the amount of food I purchased I was able to make 28 days worth of baby food.  It would have cost $55 to purchase the same amount based off what I was spending when we used store bought baby food the first month.  That’s more than 50% savings, people!  Bonus: all organic and locally grown. :)


Here are a few other pieces of info I found to be helpful:

* Refrigerated baby food needs to be eaten within 3 days
* Frozen food needs to be thawed and eaten within 30 days
* Be sure to use plastic feeding bibs when feeding solids because the food WILL stain your cloth bibs.  This may sound like common sense but I didn’t even think about it until I took a stack of adorable bibs out of the dryer covered in stains.  Boo ;(
* When boiling vegetables, add just enough of the liquid used to make a smooth purée.  This adds the vitamins and nutrients that may have been lost during boiling back into the recipe.
* A great way to add flavor to the more bland purées is to add a pinch of cinnamon, limejuice or lemon juice.
* And lastly, combo purées are a great way to get your baby to eat all different types of fruits and veggies – even ones that they may not have liked initially.  For example, Grace was not a big fan of peas or avocado at first but once I mixed them with sweet potatoes and carrots she gobbled them up!

I found a bunch of great combo purées and other helpful info in, Top 100 Baby Purées.  Great reference guide, I highly recommend buying it if you plan to make your own baby food!


First year NO-NO list
Honey
Peanut Butter
Nuts
Citrus Fruits
Raw Strawberries
Raspberries
Blackberries
Corn
Egg Whites
Whole Milk
Wheat
Shellfish

In other news – did you all know that today is “National Wife Appreciate Day”?!  I never knew this day existed but Georgia did so she woke up with Gracie this morning and let me sleep-in until 11AM while she entertained baby, cleaned the kitchen and did laundry.  I seriously have the best wife EVER!  Love you, lady.

Any other baby food making mamas out there?  I would love to hear any tips or recipes you have!

3 comments:

  1. What a great mom to go the extra mile.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you K, your compliment means so much to me! I was just telling G yesterday that I find myself feeling so GUILTY as I read other mommy blogs where moms somehow manage to sew all of their baby’s clothing, go to every fieldtrip, plan these amazing crafting activities and educational lesson plans every week… basically they do it all. As a "working" mom (I do know that being a SAHM is full-time too), that’s just not possible for me. But for right now, what I can do is make Gracie nutritious food.

      I guess we all do what we can, right? :)

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Thanks so much for keeping up with our little family! We love reading your comments and will get back to you as soon as we can.

K+G+g+w ♥

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