24 October 2010

Homemade Baby Food

If you know me at all you know one thing that i was really passionate about making my own baby food for Kiah, with Zeke i did the jarred stuff and at the time i was doing the best i knew how to do. However we have struggled with his eating habits and i really believe that it is a direct result of what i fed him as a baby, when given the choice between something processed and something fresh he ALWAYS went for the processed stuff and i know to some extent that that is normal for toddlers, but i want better for my kids, i want them to grow up healthy and never have to experience the weight problems that i had to. So, with Kiah i started making my own food from the very beginning. I went in knowing that that was what i wanted to do but had no idea where to start. Turns out the whole process was 1000x easier than i could have ever imagined! On top of that he was able to taste foods that you don't normally find in the basic jarred baby food.

I'm sorry i don't have any photos for you but the process really is simple. When he was 4 or 5 months old we started with the simple things, green beans, sweet potato, peas, squash.. if you have babies you know the drill. We started with a tiny little food mill from Munchkin just ground up the food fresh everyday. Once he had all the basics by themselves and he was starting to eat more though we needed to make more to have on hand so a close friend of mine (who has a little girl who is 5 weeks younger than Kiah) and i got together every couple of weeks and made big batches of 2 or 3 recipes each, then we would split it all in half so we had plenty of options in both fruit & veggies. I took it home and froze everything in ice cube trays and then transferred that into labeled freezer bags. Then every night i would take out 2 cubes for each meal that Ki would eat the next day and put them into Tupperware in the fridge so they were defrosted and ready to eat by morning! I added a little single grain oatmeal to the fruits for breakfast and single grain barley to lunch & dinner and Ki LOVED it! I loved knowing exactly what he was eating and how good for him it was. Now he is growing up and he doesn't eat baby food anymore, that doesn't change much in my process for feeding him though, the only difference is now i don't have to run everything through the food processor! On Mondays i cook up a few different options for the week (squash, sweet potato, baby carrots cooked until soft, pasta,black beans, garbanzo beans ect.) Rather than reaching for "snack" foods i reach for those when he is hungry and frozen peas are always a favorite of his.

The point of this post is to share some of my favorite recipes for those of you who might be interested in trying this or even encouraging someone else who might be considering it!
Don't forget to taste these yourself!

Butternut Squash Soup

3lb butternut squash
8 carrots peeled & chopped
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger
nutmeg to taste

Cut squash in half and remove seeds, bake cut side down in hot water at 400* for 40 mins or until tender.
Boil carrots in water until tender
puree everything together

(for freezing place in ice cube trays then transfer to freezer bags once frozen)

Potato & Turnip w/ Pear

2 pears
2 lg potatoes chopped
1 turnip chopped
2-3 cups applesauce

Bake pear slices until soft
Simmer potato and turnip in water until soft
Puree everything

Rice w/ Apple & Squash Puree

1 Squash (your choice)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup applesauce

Cook squash (400* for 40 mins in pan with water)
Puree squash then add rice and applesauce adding water to obtain desired consistency

Sweet Potato Apple Mash

2 Sweet Potatoes
3 Apples

Steam or Bake together until soft

Apple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast

1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal
dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, & or ginger

mix together

Carrot Ginger Soup

1tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 lbs carrots sliced and chopped
2 cups low sodium chicken broth

Saute onion, celery, & ginger in olive oil until soft
Add carrots and broth
bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are tender
Puree until smooth

These are just a few of our favorites and i really hope some of you will give them a try and please let me know what you think! If you don't have a food processor don't let that stop you! There are at least two recipes on here that you don't need one for and there are plenty more out there! Thanks for reading everyone!

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