Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Homemade Baby Food

I've gotten a few questions in e-mail lately about how I make my baby food. I have asked SO SO many myself, so I hope this is helpful...

I read "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron. It is a GREAT book, I love it. I also got it on used (could hardly tell) for much less than the price new. I learned about the book from MckMama's blog. Also, if you click on my blog on "homemade baby food" label on the right sidebar of my blog you can see some things I have done.
I will tell you for example that I bought organic carrots (5lbs) for $2.99 and made $28.98 worth of baby food from it last night. I think it is worth the time, don't you?
I use three things to make my baby food. They are also useful in my day to day cooking, so they were worth the money.
1. An attachment to my kitchenaid mixer, it is a fruit/veggie processor. I got mine on Craigslist for $70 I use it for large batches of fruits and carrots.
2. A Black and Decker coffee grinder. I got it at Wal-Mart for $15. I use it for steel cut oats and whole brown long grain rice (used for his superporridge) I use it for my family for flaxseed...Baby J can have that in a month too
3. A Hamilton beach food processor. It makes about a cup of stuff at a time. I got it for $15 at Wal-Mart I use it for making his eggs pureed, tofu, cooked asparagus, raw fruits like peaches, and advacado...other stuff too.

I make large batches of fruits/veggies once a week, on the day I grocery shop. I make superporridge daily, and then I make other stuff sometimes on the side (I never freeze advacado, so this is always made fresh before he eats it). This week I bought carrots, kiwi, and squash. I won't have to buy those probably for another month. I buy 2-3 fruits/veggies a week and freeze them. It doesn't cost much because you are only introducing 1-2 new things a week and then replacing maybe one or two things you've made previously. Buying in bulk is always cheaper anyway. You do run the risk that if they don't tolerate something you will end up with a bunch, but if you follow Ruth Yaron's guide to what foods when you really should be ok.

I freeze most of his food until it is used, but I also make small batches (like advacado) and just serve it until it is gone. I also canned all of his applesauce and pearsauce for the year. I canned a TON. I was very lucky to have a friend with a pear tree that she didn't have any use I harvested all her pears. I bought apples on sale this fall.

You cannot can veggies for babies though because there is a huge risk of food poisoning. When I freeze the cubes I double bag them to prevent any freezer burn. I try to store most things in glass, less chemicals than plastics. I never ever ever microwave with plastics.

My friend Carrie told me a great way to have food ready for the entire day. When she made the porridge in the morning, she poured the hot cereal over whatever cubes of food her daughter was going to have (3 bowls for 3 meals...each had what cubes she'd eat already in it). Then the hot cereal would cool quickly for breakfast, and the cubes would defrost. To heat up the other 2 meals of the day she would microwave water in a bowl and then set the food dish into it. Then you never even have to microwave your baby's food.

Do you have any suggestions for me? Any other questions?

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