Fooding: Baby Style

Baby food! It is something I’m a little bit… passionate … about? That sounds kind of crazy when I type it out loud, but I am big on saving money when it comes to food, and we are always striving to keep it healthy. I think if we all ate like a baby a lot of our current epidemics in America would probably be cured.

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So far I have made:

  • Sweet potato and cinnamon (Tasted like pie filling)
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, pear (pictured above)
  • Butternut squash and apple
  • Green beans and pear
  • Apple, pear, and carrots

Initially I made my own pureed apple to add a little sweetness to the savory options (peel apple, chop into bits, steam), but then I bought some unsweetened apple sauce (ingredients: apples, water) for the apple cake I made previously, so I started adding it to things willy nilly so it wouldn’t go to waste.

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For items with thick skins, I peel and then steam and then puree. I add in a little olive oil, a little salt, and some of the water the item(s) was steamed in. In order to get the baby food into a thin good consistency (esp for early food introduction) water is key. The fun thing about making my own baby food as been the variety. Sometimes I make a batch of dense food (like the quinoa/kale/apple or the sweet potato), sometimes I make some with more texture (pear/green beans definitely had a texture – partly because I kept the skin of the pear on), sometimes I purposefully make something sweet (butternut squash/apple or carrot/pear/apple), but I am always mindful to keep things as savory as possible.

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I want to keep a variety of tastes and textures coming at Gabe so that he is always exploring and developing his chewing/swallowing skills along with his taste buds.

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As far as the economical aspect – I will buy a bag of pears (for example) and they will make their way into 3 different batches of flavor combos, each beach lasting me about 2 weeks when paired with another flavor set. One bag of broccoli florets may cost me $3.99 but it will make me 2 weeks of lunches where as each pack of baby food costs .99 – 1.29 and lasts 1 meal.

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I buy everything organic, because… why not? And the whole process for a batch takes maybe 45 minutes? I’ll usually take a Saturday afternoon and make a few different flavors of things and then not worry about it for a few weeks. When I see that I am running out of a frozen bag of food ice cubes, I’ll check out what fruit/veggie we have in our fridge and pick up a few more things while grocery shopping and start the process again. Bada bing, bada boom. Baby food! And, I have yet to find something that Gabe will not eat. I can tell when he thinks something is more delicious than something else, but he’ll still eat even the things he is not so very pumped for.

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For those making baby food or for those who know things about food – do you know of good combos? I’ll probably do a few straight flavors as well, but combos create interesting dynamics and I want to continue challenging my little guy. I’m hoping that introducing him to all of these veggies now will make him more adventurous as a kid… but who knows, he could decide he only wants to live on a diet of pizza and eggo waffles when he turns 3. Wouldn’t that just be the way?

15 thoughts on “Fooding: Baby Style”

  1. I wanted to try half the options there myself.
    As for combos… a classic one would be potato and leek.
    Are you allowed to use spices? Carrot with ginger and a bit of nutmeg is delicious, brings it to a whole other level.
    Spinach is delicious with raisins, so maybe you could add grapes instead?

    1. I have been shying away from spices because I didn’t want to overwhelm him, but now I am adding them in more and more! This weekend I made cauliflower/roasted garlic/zucchini/and leek puree! It was unbelievably good!

  2. My friend adds tons of spices to all the baby food she makes. One combo I remember is apple, sweet potato, cumin and chili powder. Her baby is an eating machine and is on normal people food too now. He loves everything, including sourkraut, the stinkier the better.

  3. LJ loves his roasted potato fingers at the moment. And toast.
    We have been a bit lazy, and gone with pouch food for two meals a day, and finger food for the rest of it – he absolutely adores bolognese beef with veges. I’ve just purchased some reusable puches (because a pouch I can give him and he can suck the contents out through the spout himself), and will start cooking up some meals to go in those this weekend.
    Definitely try chicken in there, unless you are sticking vegetarian?

  4. I love that you are making purees! They do sound yummy! Verona wouldn’t eat purees, against all my efforts and steaming batches and frozen cubes of goodness. So I started researching baby-led weaning and just gave her what we were having and she used her hands to shove it in. Let me tell you, So. Freaking. Messy.

    One thing she loved was roasted beets w/ olive oil & salt. Serve that sans his clothes or be prepared to throw them out afterwards. Once you get to meats, I actually cooked liver for verona(before her iron test) and she liked that too, mike had to eat the leftovers l, though, cuz I wasn’t going near that! She also liked exploring with some grass-fed ground beef, onions, garlic and oregano. Mmmmmm!

    Random side note: sometimes I look at Nathan and think he looks like Gabe. I don’t know if its just a “babies look like babies look like babies” but I think it’s funny 🙂

      1. We didn’t do baby led weaning because (ugh and this sounds so lazy) I didn’t want to deal with the mess! Having food everywhere kind of grosses me out. But it does sound totally awesome and intuitive. Maybe for the next baby we’ll try that. 🙂

  5. Yayyy baby food!

    Squash & carrot purees and that applesauce have pretty consistently been in our fridge, and they frequently get added to peas, cauliflower, green beans, etc.

    (An aside- green beans are probably the thing I have the most trouble preparing… they always turn out meh. Anybody had good luck with those?)

    I’ve been doing a mix of the homemade purees and some store-bought stuff. I’ll usually buy the meat pre-made and then mix a bit in with whatever veggies we have around (or fruit! chicken + apples works surprisingly well). Maybe one day I’ll work up the nerve to puree some chicken or something myself.

    I’ve found that curry/cumin/ginger works really well for a lot of vegetables. And my favorite way to season more savory things right now is salt/garlic/paprika and/or thyme.

    Ben’s also a fan of mixing whatever fruit is handy (usually apples or bananas) and cinnamon into baby-oatmeal and/or some yogurt.

    I’ll often sneak a few bites for myself… is that weird? 🙂

  6. Butternut squash risotto! I just made this for my 8 month old and he loves it. I cook the butternut squash and risotto separately (i.e., roast the butternut squash, puree, then freeze. Cook the risotto in veggie broth, puree, and the freeze). Then I just take 1 cube of the squash and 1 of the risotto and mix. So far it’s been a hit! BTW – So excited to have discovered your blog! My kid just turned 8 months and it’s hilarious how similar our experiences have been!

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