I’ve begun thinking about introducing solids to baby girl, and I have decided to forgo buying jarred baby food and instead, make my own. I natural choice, I think, since I also am breastfeeding for the first year, instead of using formula--a choice which many friends and even family still cannot understand--although they do feign support (more on that in a later post). Nothing against the store bought versions, which I am sure are healthy enough, and perfectly acceptable, but while store-bought baby food is a fine choice, I really do not believe that it is the best option out there. There just is no substitute for fresh fruits and vegetables, and water. You can rest assured that your baby is getting the nutrients naturally found in those fruits and vegetables--baby food can be so over-cooked that there either are none or they must be added back in-- and not getting any extra additives or preservatives. You also can serve your baby more variety--you would be hard pressed to find jars of avacado or melon in your local supermarket and the food combinations are fairly limited.
Lastly, MYO baby food is more flavorful (Read: Tastes like real food) than its jarred counterparts, which some claim eases the transition from baby food to table food. There is speculation that the blandness of store-bought baby food sets a baby up to want bland table foods, and reject the texture and taste of stronger flavored vegetables (read: PICKY EATER). If nothing else, our frugal budget will appreciate not having another expenditure added to its already limited funds. So, that’s where I am. I thought I would share my newfound knowledge about the subject and I invite you to give it a try and share your experiences in the comment section.
Steam or bake veggies and puree to your desired consistency, adding a bit of water or breast milk if needed. Avoid boiling as this method strips the vegetables of their nutrients. Some fruits, like bananas, kiwi, and berries do not need to be cooked, but others, like apples or pears should be cooked to soften.
DO NOT add salt or sugar to the fruits and vegetables. Baby will like plain just fine!
If making extra, freeze the puree in an ice cube tray and transfer to a freezer bag. (Each cube equals about 2 TBSP)
Thaw in a microwave on Defrost mode or let thaw in refrigerator.
(CHECK TEMPERATURE CAREFULLY BEFORE GIVING TO BABY!)
MYO Baby Food Combinations
§ Acorn Squash and Sweat potato
§ Apples, acorn squash/butternut squash and sweet potato
§ Green Beans and Apples/pears
§ Summer squash and zucchini
§ Carrot and summer squash
§ Sweet potato and carrot
§ Carrot and corn
§ Carrot and cauliflower
§ Broccoli and cauliflower
§ Green beans and corn
§ Peas and Carrots
§ Veggies and rice (2:1 ratio)
§ Banana and strawberries: 1 banana: 4-6 fresh strawberries**
§ Pear and apple
§ Banana and peach/mango/cantaloupe (1 banana:1/4 cantaloupe)
§ Pear and Raspberry (1 pear:1/2 cup raspberries**)
§ Apple and blueberry** (2:1 ratio)
** (berries should be put through a sieve to remove seeds or skins)
Cook meat slowly, in a bit of liquid of it stays soft, until well-done. Let cool, cut into small pieces, and puree, stirring every 30 seconds, adding liquid as needed to reach desired consistency.
§ Chicken/Turkey and Rice and veggie
§ Chicken/Turkey and Veggie1:2 ratio
§ Chicken. Turkey noodle soup
§ Beef and rice
§ Beef and peas/Green Beans/tomato/carrot
You can also serve your baby whatever you are having for dinner each night, but I think this is a little bit more complicated because you still have to make her food separate from your own so it isn’t salted.