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Homemade Baby Food – made with love

March 13, 2012

The decision regarding of the best way to introduce food into your babies diet is a huge one!  There are a lot of options out there in this day and age.  Making your own baby food and baby led weaning are two very popular methods.  I knew that I wanted my child to have very positive, healthy associations with foods and hopefully have a great pallet as well.  When a baby is exclusively breastfed they are introduced to a variety of flavors already through their mommies milk.  So I wanted to continue to feed him the most natural foods and decided after some research that I was going to make my baby all his foods from the start (and still do to this day).

My friend over at Whole Parenting was a huge inspiration in this venture.  One day I was reading through her wonderful blog and I stumbled upon her post (and here too) about Super Baby Food book by Ruth Yaron.  I got really inspired and ordered it off Amazon that day!  I couldn’t wait to start reading what this book had to say!  I learned a bunch regarding fruits and vegetables through using this book.  I am so glad that I chose to get this book, it opened my world (and my babies world) into a whole new realm of foods and eating.

So around 6 1/2 months I started on the fun new venture of making fresh, pureed foods for D.  His main meal was porridge – which was ground up, cooked grains mixed with veggies and/or fruits, with added nutrients like flax seed, brewers yeast, kale, egg yolk, and much more (although some weren’t introduced until he was a little older).  He LOVED it!!  I will post pictures with step by step directions on how to make delicious, healthy, and nummy porridge.  The book really helped guide me in this new venture and helped me feel ten times more confident in what I was feeding my child, knowing it was all healthy and wonderful for him!

One interesting thing I learned was that commercial baby cereals are so flavorless and aren’t really an important, required part of a babies diet.  They are great as a first food starter but not needed as part of a daily nutritional need.  In fact, some of the first foods recommended are avocado, yogurt, banana or sweet potatoes.  Babies can get their required iron intake from numerous fresh foods – there’s no need to give them fortified gross cereal.  That’ll just dampen their urge to want to learn to eat solid foods.  In the U.K., babies aren’t fed infant cereal at all, baby led weaning is what a huge portion of the population does there.  It’s a pretty simple concept – you just feed your baby whole, large carrots or celery for example, and introduce solid foods (not in the puree form) and allow your baby to lead the way to what they want to try out and eat.  As long as a baby is still nursing or being formula fed they are getting all their nutrition they need during the first year.  Everything else is just practice for the big kid table after age one and beyond.

Another reason why I went the homemade baby food route is that it is SO much more cheaper and of course a lot more healthier!  It may take a little more time and effort for preparation but in the end the time to prepare a meal for baby is equal to the amount of time it takes if we did the “Gerber” food processed route.  Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with baby food sold at the grocery store but there’s nothing that beats fresh, homemade food, especially while introducing all the foods in the beginning.  As baby grows and you’re on the go, there are some wonderful options for on the go foods.  They have these packet spout purees that are easy and squeezable, straight into their mouth.  No need for a bowl or spoon!  Whoever thought of these pouches is laughing straight to the bank.  There’s also some delicious, organic options as well, like Happy Baby or Plum Organics, that are great for those parents that prefer organic over non-organic foods for their child(ren).

There are a few things you need to make your own baby food: some kind of food processor, food mill, etc., some ice cube trays, a steamer basket/pot, and freezer zip lock baggies.  That’s it!  Just steam the food, puree, freeze it, and put the cubes into baggies and voi-la – you have homemade baby food!  It’s SO easy and really not that time consuming at all.  Any mom – stay at home or working – can do it.  I have working mommy friends who made their babies food and the night before they would just put a baggie together with the cubes of food for the next day and sent it off to daycare – even the daycare workers loved how simple it was too!

The picture here was taken one day when I needed to re-organize our freezer space because D’s food was taking over!  So in each of the bags there are different food cubes, some mixed cubes and grain cubes.  I also liked to put a variety bag together of vitamin A foods, vitamin C foods, super foods, etc. so that way when I’m making his porridge I can just grab each bag and I don’t have to individually open each bag.  The trick sometimes was trying to decipher which cube was what in the mixed bag.  🙂

So the decision of how you would like to introduce foods to your baby is actually a pretty big one, in my opinion.  Food associations are created at a very young age and the best way to teach them to eat an assortment of foods is to stimulate their pallet early on.  Allow them to explore the different tastes, textures, and colors together with you as you bond in a wonderful new experience together.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2012 4:01 PM

    You are so kind! What a mama you are. Well done on the food. Wowzer!

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