August 15, 2011

Baby Food Maker

We all know how I despise cooking. We also know how very bad I am at it. So you can only imagine Jeremy's reaction when I declared, "I'm going to make my own baby food for Bradley." I seriously recall a smirk, a smile, a laugh, then a serious face followed by the question, "really??".

Jeremy has no faith in me.

I figured I had a couple things going for me. One I didn't need seasonings. Bradley's food was supposed to be bland. Two it was also supposed to be basic: one ingredient. And three since Bradley was new to food, he'd have no idea if what he was eating was bad or good!

I couldn't lose.

So I started out with peas. I steamed them and then pureed them in my food processor. My food processor was happy. I think this was the first time I had used it since we got it as a wedding gift. Wait. I take that back. I used it once to make guacamole. It was unsuccessful so the food processor got banned from our kitchen.

Anyways. The peas turned out great! I couldn't believe it. So then I moved on. I found this great website to help me with knowing when to introduce certain fruits and veggies, which I needed to be careful about, and when I could buy organic. (One big tip I picked up was that when buying carrots, avoid the baby carrots. They apparently aren't as nutritious as the big ones.)

The website also taught me how to deal with difficult veggies like peas, green beans, and carrots. These are harder to puree because of their skin. So there are tricks like plunging the peas into ice water right after boiling them so that the skin will soften. I prefer to use frozen peas. It's easier to puree. The ice and water thing never really worked for me.

So anyways. I had been making Bradley's food for a while and began to stockpile it in our freezer. One day, I was making a ton and needed my food processor to be about 4 times larger and that is when I remembered my blender.

It's a Black and Decker and has a puree button on it. And here, internet, was a lifesaver. This guy pureed all the baby food like my food processor couldn't. It took less time and pureed it all super smooth. Honestly, I don't even have to plunge my peas anymore! So once again my food processor has been moved to the top shelf. Poor guy. He just can't get a break.

Here are a few other tips I've picked up along the way.
  • Apples can be baked, but it's much quicker and easier to peel them, core them, dice them, then cook them in a pot with just enough water to cover them.
  • Carrots should be bought fresh and peeled really, really well.
  • For peas, I have found that buying frozen peas in the steamer bags at Publix are the easiest to puree. 
  • Buy fruits and veggies that are in season. It's much cheaper. 
  • I simply mash up bananas with a fork and feed them to Bradley. He loves the slight texture.
  • Mango are done the same way as bananas, no need to puree, but avoid contact with the skin; it contains allergens. Bradley is actually allergic to them. The way we knew is that after he'd eat them, he'd get pimples around his neck and chin area. Apparently, this is common.
  • Meats are easy too. I boil the chicken and puree it just like I do the others. I sometimes add just a little of sodium-free chicken broth to add a slight flavor. 
  • Learn how much baby food a veggie/fruit makes. For instance, one sweet large potato makes 8 oz. of baby food. I have made the mistake of making way more baby food than I had containers for because I had trouble knowing how much to buy. It helps me be able to give Bradley a variety each week since I only have so many storage containers.
And in case you are worried about my son's health, Jeremy taste tests everything we feed him. He has been impressed. He has also wondered why I like making baby food, but still don't like making him food. I simply told him that Bradley doesn't critic me.

Also, just so you know, we have bought baby food in the jars. We bought more at the beginning because I was unsure of how well I'd do at making it myself. Now, we only have a little and mainly use it for when we are traveling or eating out and I don't have time to microwave his food before we are leave.

Jeremy has told me mine tastes better.

I have my suspicions though. He might have been sucking up at the time. I think he's hoping I'd get more joy out of fixing his food. But unfortunately, like the food processor, he just doesn't seem to have any luck.

1 comment:

Mrs. Erven said...

Yay for making babyfood! It's super easy, and I feel so accomplished. :) It's also a lot less expensive. I'm a slacker though, I just buy unsweetened applesauce rather than actually do anything with apples. You're a good momma! :)

Oh yeah, and the other day I was scooping up the last bit of sauteed squash to feed Caleb, and I ate it! Yep, right there in front of him. He was like, "Seriously, Mom? You didn't realize that was my food?!" :) Oops! (But it was yummy.)