In’s and Out’s of Making Baby Food

I was asked to guest post over at Premeditated Leftovers (you can read it here), and I loved it!  I wanted to share it here as a good “Start Here” when thinking of making your own baby food.  Enjoy!

When my husband Jason and I found out we were pregnant in December 2010 (a day we will not soon forget!) we knew that we wanted to try cloth diapers.  It saves us money, trash, and our little guy’s bum from diaper rash!  We also decided to try our hand at making our own baby food.   Our son is 8 months old now (yikes!) and so far so good!  We’re in a groove now that we have a system down.  Starting out was tricky though because there are lots of choices out there.  Dying to know what we have learned??  Let’s get started!

Fresh or Frozen

When shopping in the grocery store it feels very satisfying to be picking out fresh veggies and fruit for our little guy.  Fresh is best when making baby food, but frozen is a very close second, seeing that the veggies are frozen in their freshest state.  If I am buying fresh (carrots or sweet potatoes for example) I look for signs of a short shelf life.  For example you don’t want the carrots that have a lot of little hairs on it and growth on the top.  I then will cook and puree them within a few days of purchasing.  I have also been trying to abide by the “dirty dozen” list.

Frozen is also a good choice, especially when buying peas.  Much easier than popping pods all afternoon!

Steaming or Baking

When cooking veggies (like butternut squash or sweet potatoes), and fruit (like apples or pears) steaming or baking is your best bet.  Those methods hold the most nutrients in the produce.  Boiling allows the nutrients to leech out into the water, therefore not packing the nutritional punch for baby you were hoping for.  What is handy about steaming is that when you puree the veggie you can use the leftover water to add back in for a smooth consistency.  Voila!  Nutritional powerhouse!

Pureeing

Let me tell you…baby food making companies make it easy on you!  There are all sorts of gadgets that help you with the pureeing process.  For myself I use the Beaba Babycook because it steams it AND purees it, but other moms have said a basic blender does the trick also.

When I puree any vegetable I always add the leftover water from steaming back in, and blend until I get a smooth fine consistency.  Often I will add in breast milk to make it even thinner.  When adding in breast milk make sure it is milk that has not previously been frozen (see my safety tips).  Also, formula should not be frozen in a puree.  Another option for thinning the puree is to mix in the steaming water, freeze the puree, and then thin it when you are ready to defrost it and serve it.  Then frozen or fresh breast milk can be used as well as formula.

Freezer or Fridge

For storing the pureed baby food, I opt to put it in the freezer.  It seems that from what I have read that it is best to keep baby food in the fridge for no longer than 48 hours, so I usually use it up within 24 hours (if you know me, you know I worry about all this safety stuff!!).  It is the same with freezing.  Using frozen baby food within 1-3 months is best, so I use it up in 1 month.   To freeze my purees I use a BPA free ice cube tray with cover.  After 24 hours I pop them out and put them in a zip-lock bag with the date written on it.

Easy Peasy!

I do cook for my family, but I don’t know if I would say I enjoy it, but making food for my son makes me giddy!  I love watching him eat the food that I have made him, knowing exactly where it came from, and how it was prepared.  Want more info?  Check out my post on the pros and cons of making your own baby food.

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2 comments to In’s and Out’s of Making Baby Food

  • Hey girl, I am getting the Beaba tomorrow and I want to make Teagan Spaghetti Squash. How do I do that???

    • spoonmomma

      Yay! I have only made acorn and butternut. Check out my posts on those but I think with any squash cutting it in half, putting it in a pan face down in some water and baking it at 400 degrees should do the trick. Then scoop meat into babycook to puree. Facebook me if you can’t figure it out :)

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