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Making Baby Food at Home
Making your own baby food at home saves time and money and offers the healthiest food option for your baby. It doesn’t have to be a scary mystery. Making baby food is easy and very cheap.
The initial investment for homemade baby food should be very small. You will need:
8 ice cube trays
Freezer Quality containers or freezer bags.
Blender (if you don’t have one, it’s not absolutely necessary)
If you start with fruits:
Applesauce is the easiest to make at home. You can buy a huge economy size jar of unsweetened organic applesauce and simply open the jar, pour into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. If you already make homemade applesauce, you can also freeze it in ice cube trays. For babies, be careful not to add citrus fruits to applesauce unless the baby has already eaten it.
Bananas are just as easy. When they start to ripen, mash them with a fork if you don’t have a blender and put them in the ice cube trays. When the bananas are soft, just blend a batch in the blender and place in trays. If you are worried about the color (it will look a little brown), you can again add a drop or two of lemon juice if your baby has already eaten lemons. You don’t want to introduce two foods at once.
If you want to start with vegetables, pumpkin is the easiest. Go to the aisle where you buy canned pumpkin (which you buy to make the pumpkin pie). Check the label. One part is 100% pureed pumpkin. This is what you need. Do not take with spices. Buy the largest box. Open and place in ice cube trays. Wrap in foil and freeze. Other very simple ones: sweet potatoes, traditional potatoes, green beans, peas.
After a day or two, when it has already frozen hard, take out the cubes and place them in the freezer bags.
I used to keep a Tupperware container in my freezer with all the veggie cubes and one with all the fruit cubes, and I would go through each day and grab what I needed. I usually thaw them in the microwave. Mix well and check the temperature with your finger. If the food is too thick (it may be at first), you can mix it with a small amount of water or breast milk or formula.
As your baby gets older, he will use 3-4 cubes per meal, but at first only use one cube per meal.
These are highly portable. I just had a few small containers. I put the frozen cube in there and when we go out, it melts, or I can add a little hot water and thaw faster if needed, and then mix in dry baby flake flakes to get the perfect consistency.
Applesauce, banana, avocado, and pumpkin are the easiest to make and save money if you do nothing else.
If you want to take it a step further, you can prepare all the fruits and vegetables for your baby by simply cooking them until soft (reserve the water used to blend them to make them soft and runny). There will be a lot of vitamins in the water after the vegetables have been cooked in it. When they are soft, blend them with a blender. Add the water used for cooking until you get a soft, baby food consistency. When it’s nice and soft, pour it into the ice cube trays. Freeze. After a few days, remove and wash the trays to reuse.
I made a big batch once a week. Then I would do another batch the following week.
If you decide to make your own homemade cereal, that’s easy too.
To make about two cups of baby cereal when you’re ready to add the protein:
1/3 cup whole dry grains (brown rice, millet, oatmeal, barley, etc.)
2 tbsp dried legumes (lentils, dried split peas, etc.)
Add these to the blender (DRY) and grind to a powder. Makes about 1/2 cup of powder. When you’re ready to cook the cereal, mix it in two cups of boiling water. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes (double if soybeans are included). Stir frequently while cooking. You can store it in the refrigerator for two to three days or freeze it. Make sure to freeze it in small batches. This recipe is from the Super Baby Food Book. She has all kinds of great recipes to make nutritious food from scratch for babies.
As you get older and ready to try meats, your regular blender will probably struggle. We have a really nice blender, but if yours isn’t powerful enough, you can substitute it with a food processor. Just cook several chicken breasts in just water (no seasoning). Then get a fresh pear from the grocery store and put it in the blender with a piece of chicken or two, add enough water to make it smooth (make sure your baby is old enough to eat raw pears that are mushy). Freeze it and use it instead of baby food meats. In any case, the smell of these was unpleasant, and the homemade chicken smelled quite appetizing.
You can add formula, breast milk or baby juice to any food to achieve the right consistency.
Finally, the milk can also be frozen in ice cubes. This is very useful if you buy more milk than your child can drink before it goes bad. This works well with goat’s milk, however, the closer you freeze it to fresh, the better the milk will taste when you thaw it and use it. So if you have milk in the fridge and you know you need to leave it for a few days, you can freeze it to make it last longer and use the cubes when you need fresh milk and don’t have it. These are good for making homemade mashed potatoes or baking.
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