I always slightly dread the next stage in Flynn’s development because:
1) I fear change
2) I like routines and
3) I feel like if I have anything else to accomplish in one day, my brain is going to have a nuclear meltdown.
But then once that stage arrives, and I accommodate it for a few days, it’s no big deal. Two months ago, I was not looking forward to Flynn eating solids. I mean, I was excited to have him try new foods, but I had the nursing/bottle routine down and now I’d have to deal with baby food, also?! Ahh! But like all the other stages that have come and gone, it’s really not a big deal at all.
In fact, it’s pretty fun to make baby food. And did I mention it’s SUPER easy? Especially since their diet consists of one ingredient purees to start. Peel it & mash it. Steam it & blend it. Roast it & puree it. 2 steps! Maybe 3 if you include washing & cutting up produce. And buying it. OKAY 4, but let’s not get too technical…
|[There is a newer version available here]|
This book has been my go-to source for the recipes I’ve made so far, but it’s mainly inspirational because once you make a few of them, you’re like, “Wait, I needed a book for this?” That’s how simple it is. Pick pretty much any fruit or vegetable; decide how to make it soft enough to be pureed and just do that. Want pear puree? Core pears & cut into quarters. Steam until soft (7-9 min), remove skins and toss flesh into a food processor or blender. 30 seconds later, boom, done. Want apple/carrot/sweet potato/pea/green bean puree? Do virtually the same thing. Cook until soft, puree.
The recipes get more complex for older babies and start to incorporate multiple ingredients and spices, but you’ll already be a pro because you started out with one-ingredient meals.
In my opinion, the hardest part was figuring out how to store the food so that it was also easy to transport to my Mom’s house (Flynn's "day care"). There are lots of baby food storage containers on the market but I just went with ice cube trays that I already owned. They're probably not BPA-free, but I'm only using them for a short period of time & I'm not heating them up, so I couldn't justify buying special trays.
1 cube = 1 oz. (or 2 tablespoons)
Every other week, I make 2 different purees (usually a fruit for breakfast, to eat alone or to mix with the Earth’s Best baby oatmeal he so loves, and a veggie for lunch). I fill up my ice cube trays with the purees and pop them in the freezer overnight. Then, I dump out the cubes and put 2 cubes each in plastic snack baggies. Everything is pre-portioned and ready to bring to my Mom’s house along with Flynn’s milk for the day. I can’t tell you how convenient it is to just grab a bag of this and a bag of that from the freezer in the morning. It keeps me slightly more sane.
To thaw, either put the cubes in a bowl and let them soften slowly in the fridge or give them a 30 second zap in the microwave and stir, stir, stir to get it all to the same baby-friendly temperature. If necessary, add a little water/breast milk/formula to thin out the puree. To thicken a puree (like pears, which tend to be watery) I add a little oatmeal.
There are foods
baby’s love that don’t need to be cooked at all, like bananas & avocados.
Flynn loves mashed avocado with a pinch of salt, and we often mix in banana with his oatmeal.
|[Flynn's first avocado experience]|
Learn from my mistake: When I first made apple puree for Flynn, I used Granny Smith apples because that’s what I like to eat. You should have seen his face - it was like I gave him a sour apple blow pop. Oops! A little cinnamon warmed him up to it though.
As far as baby-proof dinnerware is concerned, I haven’t bought any yet. My sis-in-law gave me a bunch of Gerber baby spoons, and I serve Flynn his food in small, ceramic ramekins. When he starts feeding himself, I’ll obviously need some kind of unbreakable bowls and plates that are
made of rainbows & sunshine. My mom has this cute bowl for feeding Flynn and she loves it because you can just mash & mix whatever you want right in the bowl and serve.
There are lots of pre-made baby foods available, but the freshest and most cost-effective way to feed your baby is to get in the kitchen and make your own. If you're an ingredient control-freak like me, it’s the best way to go.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t completely object to pre-made baby food. It definitely has it's perks! During our summer vacation in July, I say bring on the convenience of organic fruit in a pouch & disposable diapers! Everyone needs a break once in a while.
What were your baby's favorite first foods? Do you have your own baby food making/storing routine?
|[Asparagus. Not a fan.]|