How many of you make your own baby food?
It's a great way to save some money and provide your baby with healthier, less-processed nourishment.
I made baby food for Titus, and I've been doing it for Norah too. I'll admit this time around, it's so much easier to just grab a bunch of baby from the store shelves for a convenient meal for her. But the more she's eating, the more expensive its getting, and the more guilty I feel. My problem is just the time it takes.
Last week I was home with the kids alone for a couple days and put "Making Baby Food" at the top of my to-do list. It wasn't getting done because of the large amount of time I was needing to prep, cook, blend/mix and freeze the food. So I came up with some solutions that helped me and will hopefully help me not procrastinate quite so much next time! I cooked squash, carrots and sweet potato and then added banana and homemade applesauce to my chunky purees later. Here's kindof the step by step process I did for making baby food. This will probably be pretty basic for most of you, but maybe it will help someone trying to get started.
This time around I have a Baby Bullet, thanks to Aunt Shawna, so that does make it easier! :) The Baby Bullet blends to a VERY smooth puree- so much better then a regular blender! I would recommend finding something like this that made specifically for baby food- especially if your baby is just starting out and needs a very smooth puree. If you can't afford one, maybe you could see if a friend has one and would lend one to you for a week or so, so you can stock up!
-Do each step as you have time! If you don't have time to continue to the next step, stick the food in the fridge for later!
-prep your raw foods and then put them in a storage bags in the fridge, Don't worry about cooking them yet! They are there for when you have time! I make a lot of carrots and squash, so it takes me about 5-10 mins or so each fruit/veg to prep. (Peel and chop carrots, or peel and de-seed squash.) Decide how much time you have, and prep each food accordingly.
-when you have time to cook the prepped food, grab the bag(s) out of the fridge and dump into pots or baking pans. Cook accordingly! Without having to prep, it makes cooking alot less of a hassle! After I prepped some carrots the night before, I put them on the stove to cook while I was making lunch. Since I was already in the kitchen preparing a meal, it wasn't too much extra work to put some carrots on the stove to cook! After the cooking is done, if you know you'll have time in the next couple hours, just leave them on the stove or counter to cool and get back to it later (like when the kids are in bed!). Or put it in the fridge to work on the next day.
-You can divide up the food processing into many different steps if you want as well. To save time, blend the foods up individually and then stick in the fridge to work with later- whether mixing foods together and/or dividing up for storage. Blend the foods up and put each individual food into its own bowl- now you can easily mix foods together.
-Freezer storage tip-I LOVE to use these ice cube trays with covers. I have two that I got at Bed Bath and Beyond. And I could certainly use more! :) I use a dry-erase marker to label what the food is inside. Once it's frozen, it's so easy to pop all the veggie cubes into a labeled freezer bag. Then if there was any food left in your big bowls that you didn't have room for earlier (it happens to me all the time), you can rinse and reload more food in the ice cube trays!
And that's what I do! Hope some of the suggestions helped!
If you have any suggestions or tips that you do, leave a comment so we can all learn from each other!