My current go to website for baby food.
I had been interested in cooking my own baby food when my pedi told me how easy it was at Kimber's 4 month appointment. She made it sound so easy peasy, and maybe I over thought it, but it's a little more difficult than she let on. I did a little research and discovered that the jar baby food is heated to temps so high that all nutrients are pretty much gone. That made my decision for me. Currently I have no idea if it's cheaper or not but it makes me feel better knowing she is getting the veggie/fruit and only that. Plus I think it will be easier to transition to table food because the food I'm giving her now tastes more like what it should than jar food. Oh, and it really makes you feel like a pretty awesome mom to be able to say : I make my kids food!
All my knowledge in making baby food came from the website above. As I was talking to Pat about said website I was frustrated because it has SO MUCH information but it's all over the place. I had to finally step back and figure out what foods she can have at four months (green beans, winter squash: butternut & acorn, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, pears, and avocados), and then go back to the website to figure out how to cook everything.
I really was overwhelmed with all the options and different ways to puree, cook, steam, and bake all the foods. I hope that this post will encourage at least one person to try it, because I was scared of it at first but it's proving to not be as hard as I thought. I think the most confusing parts are when to introduce what foods, and when to combine foods, and of course how much to feed, and how often.
I started with acorn and butternut squash. I knew I wanted to start with a veggie, but I was scared to start with green beans because they can be stringy and hard to puree, and the store I went to didn't have sweet potatoes so that left squash. I picked out one of each and headed out.
First cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
Next place them face down in a pan and put about one inch of water in it. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.
When they are done cooking the skin is sort of wrinkly.
Scoop out the pulp and place in a food processor or blender. You can either add the water from the pan the squash was cooked in (any nutrients lost while cooking are added back in if you use the water), breast milk, or formula to the puree to get the consistency you want.
Place in ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap.
Side note: I had no idea how much baby food the squash would make so to give you an idea - The orange stuff on the right is butternut squash and the one I bought was 1 1/4 lbs and it made 9 oz of baby food.
After you freeze it, I put it in Ziploc freezer bags and put dates and what was in the bag on the front. I've read that baby food is good for up to three months in the freezer. That's another reason I wanted to make my own, I could make like 2 months worth and then not worry about it for a while!
I have a little piece of advise if you do decide to take this on and that is: If you have a blender from say the 1900's, that you've never used and was a hand-me-down... Stop being a cheap skate and go out and buy something else! I started with this stupid blender and at first the buttons wouldn't even go down to puree! Last night I went out and spent a whole $24 on a food processor, and made another batch of food today. Let me just say that today's batch was much easier!
As soon as I put the processor together, that poor old blender just didn't need to be taking up space in my kitchen so it found it's way into our trash can.
So now that you have all your amazing frozen baby food, all you do is take a cube or two out in the morning, throw it in the fridge to thaw (in a covered container) and you're good to go for dinner!