Feeding my children stresses me out. It has always stressed me out. When I was in the recovery room after my c-section with my daughter, the recovery nurse basically gave me a look that said, “What do you mean ‘You don’t know how to feed your child?'”
She was probably having a bad day. (At least that’s what I tell myself.)
Anyway, I think that moment subliminally registered with me that I was incapable of feeding other humans. Haha. Top that off with having a tiny daughter, who I really think could live on one cracker for a week, and we have over 2 years of concern.
Now, with this new one on the way, all these thoughts of feeding are swirling around in my head even more. One thing I attempted with my daughter was making my own baby food. It went well until my food steamer broke, and then I could never find one that I liked as much
However, I’ve decided not to become beaten down by life without a food steamer, and give it a shot again with the new baby when they are ready.
There are a few reasons why I’ve decided to do this:
1) Price- it’s so much cheaper to make a few batches of baby food with what I’m already buying at the store (fruit and veggies). Pre-packaged baby food is so expensive!
2) Ingredients- I feel so much better when I know my baby is eating just a carrot.
I’ve teamed up with Sprouts Farmers Market to bring you some DIY Tips to help you as you make your own baby food. Their nutritionist, Janet Little, has some great ideas and recipes to share!
· Keep all tools and work spaces spotlessly clean, washing with hot, soapy water and rinsing in hot water or use a dishwasher if possible.
· Choose organic produce whenever possible.
· Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before peeling.
· Use a blender or food processor to speed preparation. Add formula, juice or cooking water to thin the food.
· Start with a thin, smooth, easy-to-swallow puree. As your baby grows and chewing and swallowing reflexes mature, the consistency can be thickened.
· Make larger batches so you can portion them out in ice cube trays to freeze. Then put them in plastic storage bags. Take cubes out, heat and serve.
· Avocados or bananas may be mashed and served in a variety of ways. They do not require cooking.
4 oz sweet potato, finely diced
1 cup water
In a pot, bring the diced sweet potato and water to boil, for about 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency that you like. It should break down quite a bit after the boiling. If not, you can use the back of the spoon to mash the sweet potato to the desired texture. To make a silky smooth sweet potato puree, you can blend it with a blender. Let cool and serve.
1 bunch purple carrots – about 10 carrots
Small amount of water
Peel and slice carrots. Place in a steaming basket over boiling water and steam for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Adding a little bit of water (do not use your cooking water), purée the carrots. Let cool and serve. If freezing, remove the frozen purée from the trays and place in a freezer bag and mark to be used within 3 months.
7 to 8 months
Start testing other fruits and vegetables and proteins such as lentils and meats in thicker purees. Still go one new ingredient at a time, but now mix a few together once you know your baby isn’t allergic.
Green Bean, Potato, and Kale Puree
1/4 pound green beans
1 large organic russet potato, peeled and sliced
4 large organic kale leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 cup organic chicken stock
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium saucepan, combine beans, potato, kale, and stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat. Cook uncovered until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer contents of saucepan to a blender and add Parmesan and olive oil. Puree until as smooth as you prefer. Serve warm.
Lentil and Apple Puree
1/2 cups lentils
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small organic red delicious apple, cored and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Pour the water into a saucepan and add the lentils. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer the lentils until cooked – they should be tender and breaking down, about 25 to 35 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a small frying pan and saute the diced apple and crushed garlic until tender, stir in all the spices and cook for a few more minutes. Cool briefly. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender and puree until smooth and serve.
I’ll be honest. The thought of actually seasoning my homemade baby food never occurred to me! Genius!
Sprouts wants to make sure your babies are eating high quality, healthy ingredients. They offer a wide range of baby food products (that are actually on sale through today!), and all the ingredients you would need to make your own baby food.
Now for the best part! Sprouts would love to give away a $25 gift card to one lucky mama!!!!
::do your happy dance::
To enter, I’m keeping it simple. Just leave a comment telling me what you would buy at Sprouts! I’ll announce a winner on Friday