One of my favorite things about being a mom, besides smooching up on Lyla’s baby cheeks, watching her sleep, listening to her “talk”, going for walks, singing her to sleep, taking trips to the zoo, having my Friday’s off with her, giving her baths, reading her books, and about a million other things, is making her baby food. I love to cook in general, so it’s not surprising that I even like blending up baby food for my snuggle bug.
Unfortunately, it’s not a myth that Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 110.110 (blah, blah, blah) allows the FDA to determine the maximum levels of “unavoidable or natural” defects in food that present “no health hazard”. Oh, I’m sorry…the last time I checked I didn’t have rats pooping on my kitchen counter while I was throwing a pizza together, so it’s not big deal that the pre-made pizza from the store has that. And I certainly did not buy my peanut butter with the intention of getting extra nutrients with rodent hairs. I also wasn’t aware that insect fragments come free with the pasta I bought. Thanks for the deal. Ugh! Am I being irrational? You know what? I get it. When you’re eating food from nature, you’ll run across bugs and mold spores. I know that here and there I’m going to eat a bug or something. I’ve picked broccoli from our garden that has had a little caterpillar on it that I almost munched. I totally get it; things happen and stuff gets in our food. But, I would like to opt out of those little additives when I can help it. Cooking from scratch in my kitchen is the first defense against all that. If I cook from scratch to keep crap out of the food Nic and I eat, you better believe I’ll be doing it for Lyla. And by crap in food, I’m not just talking about bugs and rat poop. I’m talking preservatives, food coloring, trans fats, and all the rest. Thanks for letting me go on a rant there…
On another note, I’m already starting to prepare myself for the fact that every single morsel of food that goes into Lyla’s perfect little mouth for the rest of her life will not be organic. I get that. I’m over it. But for now, we’re sticking with organic. Baby food is expensive; organic or not. So I’ve opted to make all of her baby food. (Exception: Prunes. We needed prunes to alleviate a little constipation situation, so I quick ran to the store and got some organic Gerber prunes. We’ll just say they did the trick.)
The main purpose of this post isn’t to provide recipes or explain in detail how I made Lyla’s baby food. It’s to share my general experience with the hope that other moms, whether you’re a new mom or on your fourth or fifth baby might just give it a shot. It’s fun, easy, therapeutic, and great for your little one.
I received a Baby Bullet for one of my showers. While it’s not at all necessary for making homemade baby food, but it’s definitely a sweet piece of machinery. For a reasonable price, you get a great little blender with easy to clean parts and several great (and adorable!) storage containers. The set provides freezer trays for perfectly portioned baby food. They are great for transporting little portions to the babysitter’s house. It also comes with an easy to follow recipe guide that includes the foods to try in progression of age. Awesome.
So far I’ve made brown rice, sweet potatoes, avocado, pears, peas, and bananas. They have all been a hit! Hopefully this is a sign that we have a non-picky eater on our hands! The time I’ve spent making baby food has been minimal. I try to plan my baby food making around when I’ll be in the kitchen otherwise cooking meals for Nic and me. If the foods require cooking (brown rice, sweet potatoes, and pears) you can definitely get other things done while they’re steaming on the stove. If you need something quick to whip up for a super hungry babe, bananas and avocado are a great choice. No cooking involved. I am, without a doubt, saving money by making baby food instead of buying it. By doing some quick math, I believe the only thing that cost about the same for me to make from scratch was avocado. If I wouldn’t have bought organic, I probably would have saved money. The other thing that I noticed right away when I was using the store bought prunes, was how many little plastic containers you go through! Talk about stressing out the environment! Even if you are buying the little glass guys, there are only so many crafty pinterest projects you can do with baby food jars… When you are making homemade baby food, you can utilize the reusable freezer trays and warm up their little meals in small glass bowls. Clean up is a snap.
For storage, I name and date a gallon ziplock bag and stash it in our freezer. (Side note: I also love the Green Sprouts freezer trays.) The baby food recipes I’ve used so far make a lot of food, so we’ll be stocked up for a while before having to get back in the kitchen to make baby food again.
I am definitely looking forward to when Lyla’s palate has expanded and I’m able to play mad scientist in the kitchen coming up with lots of delicious concoctions for her. If she continues on her non-picky eater route, I’m sure we’ll come up with some pretty sweet combos together.
Baby-Food-Making-Mamas out there: any tips and tricks to share with the rest of us? What was your baby’s favorite food?