Saturday, July 28, 2012

my how-to for yummy homemade meals for baby caroline

Making my own baby food has been EASY! Caroline isn't consuming anything but Mama Milk yet {and we are planning to nurse full time for awhile still}, but as I blogged about earlier this week, we have had a crazy amount of garden produce! I am hoping she will enjoy {actually eat with our spitting out} some summer veggies / fruit later this fall. 

The "Super Baby Food Book" has been such a great reference! I only spent about 2 hours total and have 50 squash meals , and 32 peach meals for miss caroline neatly stored away in the freezer. 

I did a little calculating and figured out that if Caroline eats two squash cubes for a meal then it will only have cost us 0.16 cents per meal and for two peach cubes it will cost about 0.30 cents per meal. AMAZING! That beats the heck out of a $1.00+ per store bought meal/jar of baby food, AND you know your babe is getting ONLY veggies or fruit with out the preservatives or extra salt. 

Okay... what you need:
Your veggie or fruit of choice
Any seasoning you may want to add
Cutting Board & knife
Food Processor or Blender
Large Pot & water or the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker
Several Ice Cube trays
Glad Press & Seal wrap
Freezer Bags
We had tons of summer squash and zucchini so I am definitely hoping Caroline likes this in a couple months!
Chop up your squash... the smaller, the faster it will cook!
Throw all those veggies into a pot of boiling water on the stove to steam for a few minutes, or throw them into you Deep Covered Baker, with NO extra water, and then into the microwave for about 10 minutes on high until tender. This method is so healthy because all the nutrients stay in the vegetables, and the water that is created while cooking, is added with the squash into the food processor. Miss caroline will get every bit of goodness from her food!
 {I am pretty obsessed with my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker. Its great for many things, but with this pot, making baby food is so super easy!}
Throw all that steamed squash into your food processor, or blender, and pulse until really smooth. I added a little bit of italian seasonings because who wants bland, old, boring squash puree? Caroline won't enjoy going from flavorful breastmilk to plain liquid squash. I would say use the same seasonings in baby food that you use when cooking for yourself, because those are the flavors your babe is already use to getting in your mama milk.
Use a spoon to fill ice cube trays with your squash puree. I got these ice cube trays at the dollar store for 0.50 cents each. Each cube equals about 2 Tbl of veggie/fruit. Cover your trays with Glad Press & Seal... it seals off your trays well to avoid extra moisture and freezer burn. 

Place your squash trays into the freezer and leave about 12 hours. Once they are frozen solid, you can pop them out and put about 8 - 12 cubes in a freezer bag and store for up to 6 months! Make sure you label your bags and date them so you know what all those colorful cubes actually are :)
I used a straw to suck the extra air out of my freezer bags, and create a tight seal around each cube to keep them even fresher for longer. I also only placed about 8 cubes in a bag so that you can limit the times you have to open each bag when you are ready to use them for meals. 

We don't have any experience with the thawing process yet, but from everything I have read, thaw cubes over night in the fridge or quick thaw while sealed in the freezer bag in a bowl of room temp water. Avoid the microwave so you don't get any hot spots and burn that little one's mouth. 
I used the exact same process for peaches... Peeled, chopped, cooked in the microwave for about 10 minutes, pureed, froze in trays, and now storing in freezer bags! 
2-3 cubes of baby food equals about a jar of store bought baby food. It really saves SO much money, and I like the idea of knowing exactly what will be going into her tiny little body! Give it a try or pass this info onto your friends and family who have little ones. You can do the same things with most all vegetables and fruits too!

Caroline, I wonder what your favorite foods will be in the coming months?

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  1. Yay for C! Your Mama is a good cook. How about carrots? How do u cook spinach? You're doing such a good job. Love ya'll

  2. I'm so impressed!! Thanks for the helpful how-to! I may just give this a try one day! :)

  3. It is amazing how easy it really is to make baby food! Molly just started on some solids this week and it is soooo super easy! We need to share ideas over Labor Day! Can't wait to see you and talk :)

  4. Oh, I'm pinning this, just because I love how thorough your how to post is! Nice job Katherine!