Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby Food!

Ok, I admit it. For the first few weeks of solids, I had zero time or energy to make my own baby food. And you know what? That's ok. It's not that jarred baby food is all bad - it's not. It's just that I've always wanted to be one of the moms that makes their own. Homemade baby food doesn't have to be overcooked to meet safety and preservation standards, so it theoretically retains more nutrients. You control the additives, or lack thereof. And you can make foods for your baby that might not traditionally come in jars, exposing them to new flavors at an early age which can set their taste buds up to be more accepting later. (Zucchini? Peas with mint? Anyone?) All cool stuff. Not to mention how AWESOME I feel feeding Will homemade baby food, despite the fact that it was easier than most of the stuff I make for our dinners.

I mean, it's easy. Steam or roast the fruit or vegetable until you can pierce it with a fork, and then run it through a food processor (if it doesn't have skins, seeds or strings that need to be removed) or a food mill (if it does) adding water if needed to create a consistency your baby can handle. That's it. I bought all kinds of baby cook books, and, well, I sort of feel silly reading the "recipes" that tell me how big to cut the carrot chunks before I steam and puree them. Hey, there's some good information about which foods to introduce when and common allergens, plus some creative combinations I might not have come up with.

It's also cheaper. Ok, it was cheaper. Until I had to buy the super cute, silicone, BPA and phosphate free (I am pretty sure those aren't things that are ever in silicone...) freezing trays in every color they make. Hey, you might as well make baby food in big batches, right? Now that I've sunk #$(*(@ dollars into baby food freezing and storing cuteness, it'll take a little bit to recoup that cost. Still, a few dollars in organic produce at whole foods turned out significantly more servings than the same price in jars would have. Overall, it's still a huge saver. And I already had a food mill that I make apple sauce with every year, and a steaming device for veggies, so those weren't required investments.

After an hour of fun this afternoon, I now have about three weeks worth of zucchini and sweet potato in my freezer. Tomorrow I've got carrots and apples to make. And with a baby who's so not impressed with solids, I might be good for months!

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