My Sunday was dedicated to making food for my almost 8 month old, Parker. In just 2 hours I managed to prep, cook, and portion out enough food for her for one month!! This is a pretty considerable cost savings, as the premade baby food pouches range from $1.29-1.99 per pouch. If you went through two or three of those a day, it really starts adding up. I do purchase the organic food pouches just to have in the diaper bag, but when we’re home I stick to homemade. Parker also eats some finger foods. I’m always offering her new things to try on her own, but the bulk of her diet comes from purees.
Making baby food is so easy, and I actually find it quite fun because I get to play with different flavour combinations. Now that Parker is almost 8 months we’ve moved on from single food purees to having 2-3 different foods in one puree. When you’re first starting out with solids (between 4-6 months), you want to introduce new foods one at a time and wait approximately three days before offering something different. This way, if baby has an allergic reaction you can pinpoint the food he/she is reacting to more easily. Check out Health Canada’s most recent (2014) Infant feeding guidelines for more recommendations.
I’ll take you through my process step-by-step in case you’re so inspired to do this yourself. I pretty much used every method of cooking to get this all done but was surprisingly easy and clean up was a breeze!
*I buy organic veggies and fruits wherever possible.
** substitute frozen fruits/veg if necessary. You can find organic frozen goods in the health food section of your local grocery store.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 bunch broccoli
- 4 carrots
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 small package spinach leaves
- 1 pear
- 2 bananas
- 1/4 cup blueberries (I had some local berries in the freezer)
- 2 apples
- 2 Roasted beets
- 1 cup raspberries (I used frozen)
- 1 cup Oats (I always use PC organic quick oats, love that they come in a resealable bag)
- 1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
- Spices: cinnamon, coriander (Anything else you want!)
Preheat oven to 400°. Get 2 pots with steamer baskets filled with water and put on stove to boil. Plug in your slow cooker.
Rinse all fruits and vegetables.
Cut Squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Chop up broccoli, carrots, apples, beets, and pear and set aside.
Dump the 2 apples, beets, raspberries, 1/2 package of spinach, 1/4 cup of water, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a slow cooker. Set to high and cook until apples are soft(ish).
Place sweet potato on piece of foil, poke holes with fork and use a small amount of oil to coat. Wrap in foil and place in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes.
At the same time, place your squash halves flesh side up on a baking sheet and drizzle a small amount of olive oil just to coat. Squash will take about an hour to cook. These will bake as you get other veggies and fruits cooked.
Place broccoli in one steamer, cook until soft, about 4-6 minutes. Remove and place in bowl. Keep pot on stove and place your blueberries in that same steamer. Cook about 3 minutes and remove, place in a separate bowl. Keep pot on stove, place remaining spinach into steamer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove spinach and place in separate bowl. Reserve water to be used in blending purees.
Place carrots in the other steamer, cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove and place in bowl. Keep pot on stove and place your pears in the steamer. Cook until soft, remove and place in bowl. Reserve water to be used in blending purees.
Place oats in bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit until ready to use.
Take sweet potato and squash out of the oven once cooked. Cut sweet potato into large cubes place in a bowl and scrape squash into a separate bowl.
**Pat yourself on the back, the cooking is all done! Now for the fun part:
Combine 2-4 fruits and veggies in a blender, add water to achieve desired texture. (I use a NUTRI BULLET for puréeing my baby food. It does the best job at blending all ingredients to a smooth consistency.)
Note: I used the organic applesauce when making my purees. The 2 apples in my ingredient list were for the one recipe in the slow cooker 😉
Here is a list of what I made:
- Broccoli, Blueberry, Apple
- Spinach, Sweet Potato, Apple & Corriander
- Banana, Broccoli, Sweet Potato
- Squash, Pear, Oats & Nutmeg
- Carrot, Squash, Pear
- Apple, Raspberry, Beet, Spinach & cinnamon
Scoop purees into ice cube trays. (My ice cube trays give equal 2 tbsp portions, but just double check yours to see what volume you get per cube). Cover tray with plastic wrap and freeze until solid.
Once frozen, pop cubes out of trays and place in labelled freezer bags until ready to use.
I hope this inspires you to get creative and make your own baby food. It really is easy to do. Start with one or two recipes at first if you don’t want to tackle so many things at once 😊
Side Note: I don’t mix protein in with my purees, but I add it to them when ready to feed Parker, or offer her protein separately. Shredded chicken, scrambled eggs, lean ground beef, and tofu are all good examples of protein sources to add to your baby’s diet.