DIY Baby Food
One of my absolute favorite things about summertime is all the farm fresh fruits and vegetables that packs the farmers markets, street stands and supermarkets. The closer to home it was grown the better it tastes. Juicy peaches, plump strawberries, sweet corn it’s all fresh, delicious and most importantly nutritious.
When we were lucky enough to walk out of those NICU doors I vowed that I would do whatever I could to help my kids live a healthy life. A part of that was providing them with nutritious food and trying to teach them healthy eating habits. I wanted to begin from their very first bite of solid foods so I decided that I would make my own baby food. Fresh locally grown produce makes wonderful baby food.
The very idea sounded terribly intimidating but let me tell you, it is so simple. Not only is it simple but you can have peace of mind knowing exactly what is in your baby’s food and it is so much cheaper than buying the jarred baby food. An average jar of baby food can run you about $0.79 where an entire bag of carrots is only about $1.99. For $1.99 you are looking at dozens of servings.
All you really need to make my baby food is a pot to steam the food, a food processor (which isn’t necessary but does make it much easier) to puree and ice cube trays for storage.
As recommended by Health Canada, introductions to solid food should start at six months. Some suggest starting one new food at a time waiting a few days in between to ensure no reaction occurs.
Here’s how to do it:
Simply wash, peel and prepare your fruit or vegetable.
Roast or steam the produce.
Puree it using a food processor (or mash with a fork if you don’t have a food processor). If the puree needs liquid to thin it out you can use the cooking water or sometimes I even used breastmilk that I had pumped as a thinner. ***Do not use previously frozen breastmilk if you are planning to freeze your baby food to use at a later time. It is unsafe to thaw breastmilk and then to refreeze it.***
When finished put the pureed fruits and vegetables into ice cube trays and freeze them. Once frozen, simply pop out the cubes and store them in a Ziploc labelled with the date and name. The cubes are a perfect serving and are so easy to carry with you. When out and about all you need is a cup of hot water to thaw the frozen cube for easy feeding. I found pretty much any restaurant or coffee shop would willingly give you a cup of hot water, especially if they know it’s for baby feeding.
As I became more comfortable with my homemade baby food I began dedicating an hour or two a week to chopping, steaming and pureeing. My freezer stayed stocked with all different types of food and before I knew it my little ones were feeding themselves!
Making your own baby food really is a simple process. Don’t let the idea of homemade baby food scare you. It’s easy, cheap and healthy. Pay a visit to your local farmers market this weekend, take advantage of the delicious variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables and share them with your baby.