By Serena Norr
I was so excited when my daughter turned six months. Not only did she start to shuffle her body on the floor but she also started to sit up on her own – making for some quick baby proofing and excitement as she would start to eat solids. With my first daughter, I mashed, stored, froze and gave her homemade baby food. I found it to be economical as well as a healthy way to introduce nutrients food to my baby’s diet. With a little organization, some tools and of course healthy food, you can create your own baby food in no time. Here’s what works for me.
Essentially making baby food is about boiling food, mashing or pureeing it and then serving it to your baby. For mashing, I rely on a high-powered immersion blender from Sage Spoonfuls. This heavy-duty blender literally whips up food in seconds – making it so easy to blend food – including various combinations. To store the food, I also use their 4oz. containers but you can also fill up ice cube trays and freeze the food for later use. The trays provide about a servings worth of food so you simply have to let them de-thaw, warm them up and serve.
As simple as whipping up food is, I can have tons of containers in my fridge and not know the difference between an apple mash to a pear mash. To keep everything organized I place a sticker on all of the containers and label them with the date they were made and their contents. This also makes everything clear to anyone watches who my daughter as well as a way to know exactly what I am feeding her.
Develop a system
When I started solids, my daughter’s pediatrician recommended that I try the same new food for 3-4 days to see if she was allergic to anything. I started with rice cereal or oatmeal, then fruits and vegetables and then a protein (meat or beans). This really helped me to develop a system and learn what she liked as well as a way. To keep track of everything I wrote everything down and noted what she loved (avocadoes) and what she didn’t like (carrots). As she got little older, I then tried combinations like apples and carrots or black beans and rice, which I also tracked as she started to eat 3 meals a day.
Stick with organic
Today organic food is widely available in grocery stores and serving it to your baby is a great way to avoid pesticides and chemicals. I truly believe in eating organic and local – as much as possible – and making your own baby food is the easiest way to do so.
You can start with something easy, like a mashed avocado or a mashed banana. This is not only simple but it is also an economical way to get started. You can then try mashed apples, carrots, pears, sweet potatoes, plums, green beans, plums and some protein – chicken, beef, turkey, black beans, chickpeas, lentils or tofu.
*Note: Talk to your pediatrician before trying solid food with your baby.