Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baby Food 101

I decided to make a real effort making baby food with Georgia Beth. The others have had a few homemade bites, but the majority of their food was store bought. I did a little research, found a baby food site I liked, and then worked with it to make it work for our house. These are just the basics.

First, gather up some basic fruits and vegetables. These are what we had to work with today.Apples, pears, bananas, carrots, and avocados. Simple.

Next you have to cook them all. The carrots you peel and chunk up. Then just roast them. Like you would for your Pot Roast dinner. Only leave out the pot roast. I put mine in with a little bit of water to help steam and soften. They still took forever to cook. Or an hour. But that is a long time in my world. I threw them all in the food processor, and pureed the day lights out of 'em.

Looks good!

Don't use the water from the pan if you need to add some to thin them out. It has some kind of something that cooks out of them and its not great for baby. I didn't add water to mine, but Georgia is nine months old now. She doesn't need super fine food.

Next came the apples and pears. And somehow these pictures are missing. The recipe said to half them and core them. Place them on a cookie sheet with an inch or two of water and bake. The peels would slough off after baking. Here's tip #1. Peel the pears. First. Never bake them with peels on. Ever. And I quartered mine. Because it is easier to core them for me that way. I baked them on separate sheets so the wouldn't taste like each other. They bake at 350 to 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Once they have cooled just a little, remove the peels from the apples (because you are going to be really smart and peel the pears first), and puree. I used an immersion blender for this. That's because I don't have a blender, and it was easy to stick the wand into the bowl and puree. Use the water from the apples or pears to thin. The pears were super thin without anything added. I would use them for a baby's first fruit. Make sure you have a sweet apple like a Fuji or something similar. You don't want your baby to go into shock from the tartness, nor do you want to add a bunch of sugar.

I peeled the avocados and sliced them up. Then froze the slices. When I needed some for Georgia, I just pulled out a couple of slices, let them thaw in a zippered plastic bag, then mushed up in a bowl.

Bananas you just mush up as needed as well. There is no need for appliances.

These are some quantities I have come up with.

For a 4 ounce jar: 1 apple, 1 pear, 2 carrots, 1/4 a sweet potato, 1 cup green beans

Don't freeze glass baby food jars. I make enough to last me a week. And then go again the next week. And don't just do carrots for the entire week. You might end up with an orange baby! Throw in green beans or some steamed cauliflower or broccoli.

Look at those chubby arms. She's doing great!

Have fun finding what works for you. With all the Farmer's Markets and neighborhood gardens, this is a great time of year to try this out!