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Making Baby Food at Home
Making your own baby food at home will save you time and money, and give your baby the healthiest food choices. It doesn’t have to be a scary secret. Making baby food is easy and inexpensive.
Your first investment in homemade baby food should be very small. You will need:
8 ice cube trays
Freezer Standard storage containers or freezer bags.
Blender (if you don’t have one, it’s completely unnecessary)
If you start with fruit:
The easiest thing to make at home is applesauce. You can buy a large economy size pot of unsweetened organic applesauce and open the jar, pour it into ice cube trays, cover with foil and freeze. If you already make homemade applesauce, you can freeze that in ice cube trays as well. For babies, make sure you don’t add citrus to applesauce unless the baby already has it.
Bananas are simple. When they start to ripen, mash them with a fork if you don’t have a blender and place them in ice cube trays. Whenever the bananas are soft, just blend a batch in a blender and place on trays. If you are concerned about the color (it will appear a little brown) you can add a drop or two of lemon juice, again, only if the child already has citrus. You don’t want to introduce two foods at the same time.
If you want to start with veggies, pumpkin is the easiest. Go to the aisle where you buy canned pumpkin (the stuff you buy to make pumpkin pie). Check the label. Some of them are 100% pure pumpkin. This is what you want. Don’t get any added spices. Buy the biggest can. Open it and place it in ice cube trays. Wrap it in foil and refrigerate. Some of the easiest ones are: Sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas.
After a day or two of freezing, remove the cubes and place them in freezer bags.
I used to keep one Tupperware container in my freezer that contained all the vegetable cubes and one that contained all the fruit cubes, so each day I would go by and grab what I needed. I usually melt them in the microwave. Mix them well and test the temperature with your finger. If the food is too thick (it probably will be at first) you can mix it with small amounts of water or breast milk or formula.
As the baby grows he will use 3 to 4 tubes per meal, but at first you can use one tube per meal.
These are very portable. I only had a few containers. I put a cube of ice in there and if it comes out somewhere else it melts, or I can add a little hot water and melt it quickly if needed, then mix in the dry baby cereal to get the perfect consistency.
Applesauce, bananas, avocados and pumpkin are the easiest to make and if you do nothing else, it will save you money.
If you want to go a step further, all fruits and vegetables can be prepared for the baby by simply cooking them until soft (save all the water you use to mix them so they soften and drain). The water will have more vitamins in it after the vegetables are cooked in it. After they are soft, run them through a blender. Keep adding the water you used to cook it in until it softens, almost like baby food. When it’s ready and soft, pour it into ice cube trays. The ice. Take it out after a few days and wash your trays to reuse.
I make a big batch about once a week. Then the following week I will make a different batch.
If you decide you want to try making your own cereal at home, it’s very easy.
To make about a two-cup batch of baby cereal, when she’s ready to add protein:
1/3 cup dry (brown rice, millet, oatmeal, barley, etc.)
2 Tbs dried legumes (lentils, dried peas, etc.)
Place those in a blender (DRY) and grind to a powder. Makes about 1/2 cup of flour. When you are ready to cook the cereal, you stir it into two cups of boiling water. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes (double if you include soybeans). Shake it frequently while cooking. You can just keep this in the fridge for two or three days or freeze. Make sure you freeze it in small pieces. This recipe is from the Super Baby Food Book. She has all kinds of great recipes for making nutritious food from scratch for babies.
When he’s mature and ready to try the meat, your regular blender will be tough with that. We have a really nice blender, but if yours isn’t powerful enough, you can substitute it for a food processor. Just cook several chicken breasts in just water (no seasoning). Then take a fresh pear from the grocery store and put it in a blender with a piece or two of chicken, adding enough water to make it smooth (make sure the child is old enough to eat a raw mushy pear). Freeze it and use it instead of baby food. Those smell good though, and the homemade chicken smelled good.
You can also add formula or breast milk or baby juice to any food to achieve the correct balance.
Finally, you can freeze the milk in ice cubes. This is really useful if you buy milk in larger quantities than your baby can drink before it goes bad. This works well for goat’s milk as well, however, the sooner you freeze it 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’re leaving for a few days, you can freeze it to keep it longer, and use tubes when you need fresh milk but don’t have it. These will work great for making your own mashed potatoes or baking.
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