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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?