Infant Dinners: Making Your Own

infantdinners_pureeSo last week we started Infant Dinners, the baby led way. Now I wanted to note we are still going to do some purees. There are a variety of reasons why including:

  • Introducing foods that aren’t really easy for him to pick up at this age – Right now I can’t just throw our dinner on his tray, we have to take it step by step to watch new foods. Sometimes that is easier in a puree.
  • They do them at school for now (not rocking the boat). I did send in a celery stick for him to chew today to test the waters. I was told it was a first…
  • Sometimes it is easier to whip up if I don’t have good finger foods.

What I am shooting for the moment is usually one baby led item to keep him happy so I can eat and then a puree mixed with some cereal. Last night was a celery stick to chew on and then he had pureed carrots and some banana chunks. Best of both worlds.

Homemade

With that, I plan to make most of it. I really enjoyed this with Landon. My thought is I want them to taste what real food tastes like as much as possible. You can’t jar some tastes. For instance a canned peach is way different than a real peach. Fresh carrots taste different than the jar. We aren’t a family of canned fruits and veggies so I don’t want them to start off that way.

I try and use fresh produce when possible but when you start in January, you don’t get a lot of choice. Next up I get is frozen organic. Trader Joes and Earth Fare help me out there. In some cases, frozen can be better than “fresh” depending on how long it has been out. I rarely ever use anything canned. Once again, we just aren’t canned people. I do use canned beans for ease later on.

I freeze most of my stuff. I leave some in the fridge for use in the next day or two but freezing is the way to go. Here is a chart on freezing foods. TIP: don’t FILL the container because it will expand and pop open the top in the freezer.

Time

Now I mentioned in last week’s post that I was worried it would take more time with 2 kids but I am trying to make it work for me. Last time I would take a whole afternoon and do a ton. That just isn’t really a good choice of my time now. Those windows when I have time are few and far between and I usually have something to do in that time. Like today, I was grocery shopping…for said food. But I am finding it better to plan with our meals. The other night we were having peas with dinner. I just cooked extra and pureed the leftovers real quick along with dinner prep. When I got home from the store, I threw a couple of things in the steamer while I cleaned up and pureed when done. Not a huge production but enough to get a little bit in the freezer.

My Tools

purees

I often shake my head at all these contraptions to make baby food. The prices are insane and it is all so ridiculous. To make all of Ollie’s food, I use the following:

  • Pampered chef rice cooker to steam foods. I usually add a little water and steam just enough that it is tender, not mush. I can’t find the model I have anymore but any type of steamer should work. Note: Some foods don’t need to be steamed like bananas and avocados. Baby led perfect foods!
  • Magic Bullet – Yes…we have had this for almost 8 years. Bought for smoothies before the kids and now used to puree the shit out of stuff.
  • Small baby food storage containers (freezeable) – I couldn’t find mine but these look swell. Now you can also do ice cubes.  I did this later on once he ate more. I could just pop 2 cubes in a larger container for school. I love the Fresh Baby trays. I use them for breastmilk too. The rubber lid is great for getting on and off without spillage.
  • Take and Toss containers – Mentioned above, I would throw cubes together. A cube of spinach with a cube of pears for lunch. I used these containers for a long time with Landon. I rarely ever tossed. Only if it got warped in the dishwasher or something.
  • Take and Toss spoons – they are the perfect size for little mouths and available at most places if you need to buy in a jam.
  • Pyrex glass bowls – I use this to mix up his foods. We have a ton of them. One rule of baby food is don’t eat out of the container unless you are gonna use it all. The bacteria from the spoon to the jar ain’t good. When trying a new food, I try to just pour into the glass bowl first. You could use the take and toss containers too. I have no clue why I choose the glass…looks fancy I guess

Backup

Always have some jars or pouches as back up. While I love homemade, when I didn’t plan ahead to get it out of the freezer or I don’t want to take cold stuff with us? Jars and pouches are there. I also use them in the cases of some foods I don’t really wanna cook. Prunes, greens, etc. I also advise taking a look at the selections. Especially mixtures. It might be good pairings to try with your own food.

Resources

All that said, I am no expert here. All I have under my belt is 1 kid who loves tons of foods and some knowledge from books and podcasts. Please talk with your pediatrician if you have questions about what to give and not give your kid. Also I have very little experience with allergies and I know that is a whole other ball game. If anyone wants to guest post about that, please let me know!

Here are some resources I found along my way to help ya:

Everything You Need To Feed Your Kid Under $100

New Moms, New Babies Podcast: Making Your Own Baby Food 

Happy Baby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months

Momtastics Wholesome Baby Food

 

So did you make your kids food? Tips? Thoughts?

 

3 Comments

  1. For E, I did the whole jarred baby food thing for a short bit to test the waters for allergies and then went to BLW / small pieces for her to nom on. This time around, I’m really thinking about making a lot of A’s food. I’ve been looking at labels more, have found more resources, and I am hoping it will save us some money. I feel like I am stalking your site following your posts about BLW and making your own food, but it has been nice to have a reliable resource from someone who’s kiddo is just a few months older. And Pinterest to think outside the box (umm, hello make your own yogurt drops).

  2. I surprised myself by making all of D’s food when we started solids & I really enjoyed it! Every time I see one of the ice cube trays we used, it takes me right back to that time. Very, very easy to do. Jimmy would help me cut up fruits & veggies and I’d make big batches on the weekends.

    We didn’t use special tools other than a potato masher, blender and/or immersion blender depending on the food.

  3. Pingback: Kidlet Dinners: Salad Bar Nation

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