You know what you need to get started but today we’ll talk about how to actually make some baby food staples.
The quickest and easiest items to make baby don’t require any cooking. Ripe bananas, avocado, mango, pears, blueberries and peaches are a few options that you can just peel, scoop and throw into your blender. Puree them until they are smooth and throw them into containers to store. Hear that? It’s the sound of you being done “cooking” your baby’s food for the week and you taking a nap.
I think the next easiest thing to do is steam frozen veggies. I found that peas, green beans, carrots and corn were good veggies to buy frozen. Obviously you can use fresh but I found the frozen was easier to throw in my steam basket. Just steam or boil those veggies according to the package directions, let cool and then puree away in a blender. You’ll notice that these don’t puree as well as what a banana or avocado would…just add a little bit of water until you reach the consistency you’d like. I’d always use the water that I used to steam the veggies- there’s a lot of nutrients in that water! As my baby got older, I’d introduce the chunkier textures by adding less water. When you get to the desired texture, pour into storage containers.
There are LOTS of fresh food options with a few different ways to prepare. Some great steam-able choices are apples, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, squash, and spinach. I peel and pit apples, zucchini and squash before steaming to make things easier to puree. I also typically just buy the packages of spinach, baby carrots and pre-chopped broccoli to same me some time and throw them in my steamer.
Other fresh food items I’ve used are sweet potatoes, squash and eggplant. These are all easily roasted right in your oven. They take a little more time (sometimes up to 45 minutes depending on the size) but are easier to make in large batches since you aren’t limited to a small steamer basket/pot. I make sure everything cools, cube them and stick it in the blender adding water for the right consistency.
A quick note on the consistency of your purees- you can add breast milk or formula if you don’t want to use water. Just make sure to add the milk/formula right before serving instead of right after you puree.
Once your baby has been through all the basics, start mixing them up! I found that going through the baby food aisle at the grocery store helped give me ideas of what to combine. When your baby is ready, you can start introducing a chunkier texture by throwing in barely, brown rice or cereal into your purees.
I introduced meats around 9 months. I haven’t done much pureeing, I mostly will give my little one shredded chicken or beef depending on what we are eating. I’m not a fan of cooking meat and then throwing it in a blender. It makes me gag just thinking about it. But if that’s your thing- puree away and add it to baby’s veggies!!
What was your baby’s first food?