Saturday, May 15, 2010

Making homemade baby food!

***this post posted earlier then I planned, I will include pictures of making sweet potatoes later today or tomorrow***
{Baby Food Central!}
 (get ready for a LONG post)

I am all about making my own baby food for my kids and for my daycare. MANY of your have asked me to share how I make it and some things I've learned. It's your lucky day...
Makenzie wasn't a big fan of cereal, and she would only eat it, if I added a touch of applesauce, so I decided to start her on some veggies. {Sweet Potatoes} You are supposed to start veggies before fruit, so your child(ren) will eat their veggies. Often when you start fruit first, babies don't want the 'bitterness' of veggies and will choose fruit over veggies. I started Chase and Abigail with veggies, and they have always eaten their veggies. They love both fruit and veggies!
 I started with Sweet potatoes...

Sweet potatoes
 When selecting yams/sweet potatoes for homemade baby food, make sure to select those that are unbruised and without brown or soft spots.
For proper storage, be sure to keep them in a cool, dark, dry area. Yams/Sweet Potatoes may be kept for up to two weeks. Do NOT refrigerate sweet potatoes.
White of light colored sweet potatoes are more dry and not as tasty as the orange colored sweet potatoes.
As with most cooked foods, they may be kept refrigerated for 2 to 3 days after being cooked. Sweet potatoes freeze well. 

The next Veggies I will move onto are...
Squash | Peas | Carrots 
Here are some helpful hints...
Butternut squash
The Acorn and the Butternut are the best choices for Baby's First Squash experience. These types of squash are best given to an infant between 6-8 months old. (If you start solids early at 4 months, Winter squash is also appropriate)
The best way to cook butternut squash, acorn squash and other winter squash for baby food recipes is to bake or roast the squash. You retain the most nutrients while bringing out the most flavor. Roasting or baking winter squash is also easier than tying to peel and cube for steaming or boiling.
How to Bake/Roast the squash
With a sharp kitchen knife, cut the butternut squash in half - lengthwise.

Scoop out the seeds from the round end of the cut butternut squash

Lay butternut squash "face" or meat-side down in a baking dish with about 1-2 inched of water.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes or until shell/skin looks puckery and turns a darker tan

 How to select peas
 When selecting fresh green peas, check the pod carefully. Look for peas that are firm, crisp, with a bright green color, and a fresh appearance. Fresh peas will feel almost velvet-like when you handle them. Try to buy medium sized pods rather than large ones. Avoid tough, thick-skinned pods, as this is an indication that the peas are over-matured, as well as those that exhibit poor color or show any sign of decay or wilting.

Do not buy peas that are already shelled because you never know when they were shelled. When you bring green peas home from the market, remember they have a very short shelf life, so use them right away.
How to prepare Peas
Steaming or boiling peas in a scant amount of water is the best way to cook peas for baby food. For a nice flavor, cook peas in a homemade vegetable, chicken or beef stock. 

How to select Carrots
When purchasing carrots, look for those with minimal sprouting at the top. In other words, if the carrot has started to grow, it has been sitting around for quite some time. Also look for little "hairs" growing along the carrot. This also indicates the carrot is growing and has probably been sitting around for awhile.

The best way to preserve the flavor, crispness, and beta-carotene content in carrots is to refrigerate them
How to prepare carrots
When preparing Carrots, steaming is the very best method for cooking and preparing them. Steaming Carrots allows the beta carotene to be more bio-available and readily used by the body.

Carrots should be peeled when making baby food purées as many infants will not be able to digest the skins. Unless you are purchasing Organic carrots, you should always peel carrots as chemicals do concentrate in the skin of the carrot.

Here are some fruits I will be doing in the future...
Applesauce | Bananas | Pears | Avocado 

Here are great charts to go by for food for your baby...
solid food chart for babies 4-6 months old
solid foods for the 6-8 month old baby

solid food chart for 8 - 10 months


(All my helpful hints information was taken from one of my favorite information websites


Angela said...

I love the wholesome baby food website! I made all of our baby food and it is really easier than what most people think. I made huge batches and froze them in ice cube trays and then stored the cubes in plastic bags!
You are such a good mom to be making it for your sweet girl!

OurLittleBlessingS said...

i love that website as well!! i made a lot of mia's baby food from this site! :D

thanks for stopping by my blog! your kids adorable:D

Linds said...

I made my own baby food too. On the squash, I just microwaved it whole (make sure to poke holes so that it won't explode) and then when it's soft to touch, cut it open, scoop the seeds and chop up to fit into your blender! Works like a charm!

kanishk said...

yaaa !!!You are such a good mom to be making it for your sweet girl!
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