Thursday, January 31, 2013

Make Your Own Baby Food, Part II

You're probably reading this because you're interested in making your own baby food. Not only can doing this save you money, it can also help you to be certain that there aren't any additives in your baby's food that you don't want. In the previous post, I gave a recipe for homemade applesauce. Now, I'll 'tackle' vegetables.

Here's a nice recipe for pureed sweet potatoes.

2 large sweet potatoes (approximately 13 ounces apiece)
2 tablespoons water, breast milk or formula

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Just like you would any other baking potato, poke each one several times with a fork and bake until tender, about 55 minutes to an hour. Let cool until they can be handled, about 45 minutes. Now, peel them, put the flesh in a food processor or blender and run until smooth. Then, add the water/formula/breast milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you get the right consistency.

One thing that is really good about this is that it freezes very well using an average ice tray. One cube usually holds about 2 tablespoons, so only thaw out one cube in the beginning. You can always thaw out more as your baby starts to eat more.

When babies are six months old and/or have been on solid food for a while, you can usually serve blends. These can be a good way to give your baby several different types of nutrients in the same meal, as well as exciting their taste buds. Contrary to popular belief, babies can have some spices. Your pediatrician can give you more information, but baby food doesn't have to be bland. Here's a nice vegetable blend that can be served after your baby has tried and 'passed' all of the ingredients.

Garden Vegetable Combo-Peas, Carrots, Green Beans and Summer Squash (zucchini and yellow varieties are best).

Chop the carrot into really small pieces and combine with the squash and fresh/frozen peas and green beans. Then, put in a saucepan and add water, just enough to cover everything. Cook until tender and save the leftover water for later use. Puree in a blender or food processor and add the saved water until you get the consistency you want.

Tip: If you're using fresh peas or green beans, you want to get rid of the 'skins' before serving. You can either put the puree through a strainer to 'catch' the skins or cook and soak in cold water. Frozen are usually easier to work with than fresh.

Hopefully I've given you a few ideas about ways to make baby food at home. Like I said above, this can help save money because purees like this tend to freeze well. That way, you can make a larger batch and freeze individual 'servings' in a regular ice tray for later use. This eliminates the need for jars, making it 'eco-friendly' as well!

Again, consult your pediatrician before starting your baby on a new food.

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