Friday, April 10, 2009

Layla's Favorite Home-made Baby Foods

Mrs. Cocoa Confections asked if I would share my experiences with making home-made baby food. I have to give credit where credit is due... I get a lot of my recipes from http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/. They not only have great recipes, but they also tell you about the nutritional content of different foods and when they should be introduced. Definitely worthy of a bookmark if you intend to make your baby's food yourself.

Here are some recipes Layla likes:

Sweet Potatoes
I prefer to bake her sweet potatoes, mainly because I can leave them in the oven, run off to do something else, and they never burn because the delicious smell always lets me know when they're ready. Plus if you bake them a little longer than you intended, it usually doesn't hurt them. In fact, it can make them more tender and workable, not to mention sweeter.

To bake a sweet potato in the oven, scrub it very well with a brush under running water. Take a fork and poke holes in it for ventilation. Wrap it nicely in aluminum foil and bake it at 400F for about 45 minutes (I usually leave mine in for an hour).

Once you take it out of the oven, let it cool down and then cut it length-wise. The "meat" should be really mushy already and you can easily scoop it out with a spoon. If it's not mushy enough, wrap the potato up and bake it a little longer.

Scoop out the potato and spoon it into the Magic Bullet cup or food processor. You'll then add your water. When I use the Magic Bullet, I usually fill it with just enough water to be level with the sweet potato pulp. Remember, you can always add more water, but you can't take any of it away so add it gradually until you get the desired thickness for your baby. Blend it until you get an even consistency and serve it to baby!

Green Beans/Peas/Carrots
I use the same method for all of these vegetables, and Layla loves each of them. I use frozen veggies for the convenience, but of course you can use fresh veggies if you choose.

Take a small sauce pan, add about a quarter of a cup of water (you don't need much more because the vegetables have their own water), add about 2 cups of frozen veggies and bring them to a boil. Once you get a rolling boil, turn down the heat and simmer them for about 10-15 minutes or until they're tender. Cool them and puree them in the Magic Bullet or food processor, adding water until you reach the desired consistency.

Steaming your vegetables helps them retain their nutritional value, so you may prefer that method to boiling. You can also microwave, but I would not suggest microwaving ANY food for baby.

Those are just a few of the most commonly-used recipes in our household. Making baby food is really easy to do, and it's cost-effective as well. You tend to pay less for a big bag of vegetables than a bunch of jars/containers of prepared baby food. Remember, most baby foods can keep in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days, so plan your baby's meals accordingly. And if you plan to make your own baby food, it helps to invest in some serving-sized storage containers like these:


These are Stay Fresh Baby Food Containers and can be purchased at http://www.onestepahead.com/. Of course, you can always re-use old store-bought baby food jars and containers, which is what we do.

Well Mrs. Cocoa Confections and everyone else, I hope this helps you out!

1 comment:

dlmoore02 said...

With my next one I'll have to definitely give homemade baby food a try. With Layla I just bought organic, mostly Earths Best. I tried simple things like sweet potatoes but always thought she would get bored with eating the same thing. Earths Best offered me some variety but with the next one I'll put forth more effort and see how it goes. Thanks for the pointers!!