Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Homemade Baby Food How-To

Something I've really enjoyed doing for both of my boys is making their baby pureés. It's definitely not something I ever thought I'd actually enjoy, but I really do look forward to it every month! 

I love that I know what's going in their food {read: lack of preservatives}, and I love mixing and matching the fruits and vegetables to come up with a fun combination. Of course, I don't think any differently of the mom who buys baby food off the shelf, feeds their kids pouches {hello, I love those things!} or makes the baby food like I do. We're all in this together! #solidarity 


But, if this is something that you'd like to know more about, here's how I go about doing it. Before I begin, though, I must say that the tool that has made this 100 times easier for me this go-round is the Béaba BabyCook {along with a cheap cutting board, a great knife and these ice cube trays for freezing the pureés}. With Walker, I didn't have the Béaba and had to steam everything on the stove or in the microwave, then pureé it in my food processor. So, the Béaba is a two-in-one tool and saves me so much time -- and dirty dishes! 


+ STEP ONE: Select your fruits and vegetables 


I follow this handy chart {found on Pinterest} that helps me determine what fruits and vegetables Knox can have and when. When I buy fruits directly from the produce section, I try to buy organic if at all possible. 




But of course I'm not above buying things that are pre-peeled or chopped...namely broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and green beans. Y'all, I buy those straight from the bag and there is no shame in my game! 


And sometimes, especially if things aren't in season -- especially in winter, like now -- I buy fruits or veggies frozen. 

For the already soft fruits {e.g. banana or avocado}, just put in a bowl, mash with a fork and give straight to baby. Those are easy and always my favorite in a pinch!

Personally, I buy all my groceries from Walmart using the grocery pickup {which is amazing for mamas, BTW -- use my code here for $10 off your first order!}, but you can buy anywhere. Nothing special is needed for these fruits and vegetables -- as long as they're fresh!


+ STEP TWO: Dice the fruits and vegetables {if necessary} 

If the fruit or vegetable needs chopping, dice into small chunks. If the produce is frozen, leave it out in the sink to thaw. If it's pre-chopped, you can move on to step three! 



I put my chopped fruit/vegetables in bowls to make room on my cutting board and to make it easier to dump into the Béaba when it's time to steam and pureé it. Like I said, I make a lot at a time!


+ STEP THREE: Steam and pureé

Following the instructions for the Béaba, steam and then pureé the fruits and/or vegetables. I typically do a bunch of food at once -- typically on the weekends when Brandon's home to help me watch the boys -- but you can, of course, do one at a time...whatever works best for you! 



+ STEP FOUR: Pour pureé into ice cube trays 

As soon as the food has been thoroughly pureéd, pour into your ice cube trays and stick into your freezer overnight. 


I personally love the OXO ice cube trays because I think they're easier to get the food out of once frozen than the ones typically marketed toward baby food making, but that's just my personal preference. You can use any type to get the job done! 



Since I make a lot of food at once, I use masking tape to label the trays to make it easier on myself when it's time to pull them out of the freezer and separate into labeled Ziploc bags. 


+ STEP FIVE: Put frozen cubes into Ziploc bags in freezer

Once the pureé has had time to freeze overnight, pull the trays out of the freezer. Label a gallon-sized Ziploc bag with whatever you're pulling out of the freezer: "Broccoli," "Peas," "Pears," etc. Run the backside of the tray under hot water to 
loosen the frozen pureé.  Then, put each frozen cube into the labeled Ziploc bag, and stick back into the freezer to use whenever you need them! 

Knox has two cubes of a vegetable and two cubes of a fruit three times a day, so this makes it easy for me to grab what he needs for each meal. I put the frozen pureé into these bowls and microwave for 35 seconds or until thawed and warmed, and then feed Knox. {But be sure to test it before feeding to baby because every microwave is different!} 



I also mix and match the cubes, too -- just pull one of each from the freezer and warm together in the microwave. Knox's favorite mixes include: 

  • White beans and sweet potatoes
  • White beans and butternut squash 
  • Peas and carrots
  • Quinoa and sweet potatoes
  • Mangoes and peaches
  • Apples and sweet potato


Do any of y'all make your baby's food, too? 



Linking up with Jenn and Jessi 

12 comments:

  1. I don't do our own baby food-I have always thought it would be great but my work schedule just really hasn't allowed the time. BUT this looks so much easier than I realized. I love how you broke down the freezing and storage-it really is more simple than I would have thought!

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  2. I definitely am interested in tackling this, at least in some part. We'll see what life actually throws at us once we have baby girl here, but this doesn't look too hard.
    I'd been told that I didn't really need to register for a baby food maker since you can do the same thing with a food processor. But I never thought about the steaming part. Do you think this is something worthy of putting on the registry?

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  3. Is it sad that I miss this? I used to love coming up with neat combos and stocking up for Miss A! We used the baby breeza from Target! Have a great day love! xo

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  4. I loved making my boys' baby food. I did with the first two at least. We were starting preschool, moving two hours and settling into that when our third was ready for baby food so I bought organic and let it go! I used a baby food maker with our first and then just did steaming in large batches with my pots and blender. Helped me make a lot quickly since the steam portion was a little bigger.

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  5. Bookmarking this post!! I didn't register for a baby food maker, but I think you've sold me on yours.

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  6. This is such a great idea - definitely something I will be thinking about when the time comes!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  7. Awesome!!! I registered for the baby bullet and can't wait to do this when the time comes :)

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  8. OMG thank you for this post! I'm just venturing into the world of baby food making. Just pinned that food chart and ordered those ice cube trays!

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  9. I loved making homemade baby food too! I miss those days and if we ever have another I plan to do it again. :) Have a great day!

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  10. Love this! I really want to make our baby food so this will be super helpful in the future :)

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  11. Oh this will be a great resource for later! I never thought about freezing them in ice trays!
    The Messy Bun Mama

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  12. Welp, I've been doing it all wrong! I guess that's what I get for just winging it ;) But really your system speaks to my organizational loving heart! I've been making food weekly but I feel like I always get in a spot where I run out of food and have to supplement with a packet which is fine, I just like to save those for when we are out and about! Thanks for the tips (seriously SO helpful!)

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