Last month I wrote about my commitment to offer my six month old homemade baby food (click here to read post). Since then, it has been going very well. I make enough food in one full day or two half days to last well over a month. The cost savings is wonderful, I save at least 70% or so (if I were to purchase the Plum Organics baby food that is) a month.
For Part #2, I wanted to include some tips on making and storing baby food. I hope you find them helpful and please share with our readers any tips that you might have as well.
General Baby Food Tips
Tip #1: If you have a baby who suffers from constipation, I would refrain from including rice cereal in their diet and opt for whole grain oatmeal.
Tip #2: One of the best foods for constipated babies is a pear! They usually make a bowl movement shortly after (my daughter will kill me eventually for talking about her constipation problems!)
Tip #3: Sweet potatoes in the oven taste 1000 times better than boiled, steamed or from the microwave.
Tip #4: When making big batches, so that you don’t overwhelm yourself, select a portion of the day that you are going to bake and steam. Stick with one or the other, but not both (unless you need to get it done very quickly). It takes stress off on dishes and running around the kitchen. Use one method at a time for cooking the baby food.
Tip #5: Apples and peas cause constipation – stay far away from them!
Tip #6: Frozen spinach mixed in with another type of vegetable gives your baby plenty of iron and fiber. You don’t need a lot of water to puree the spinach either, because it actually gives off a lot when thawed and cooked.
Tip #7: Blueberries are the OK type of seeded fruit, just wait until they are between 8-10 months old. They do not pose the same danger as strawberries or blackberries.
Tip #8: Do not bake carrots – they taste dry and are horrible. Instead, boiling them is the best method for keeping all their nutrients.
Tip #9: Make sure when cooking pears that they are soft to touch and allow you to make a very slight squeeze into them. Unripened pears are gritty and hard to digest.
Tip #10: Bananas and avocados are wonderful to eat and offer a great amount of vitamins. The best part – they are quick to make and you do not need to cook them, just mash and serve!
Tips for Storing Baby Food
Tip #1: You can only store baby food in the fridge for three days. When you make your batches, store just enough for those three days and freeze the rest.
Tip #2: Before freezing baby food, pour each food into a bowl, let it cool and then scoop with a baby food spoon (better than using a regular spoon as it is smaller) into ice-cube trays. Place tin foil over them and store in the freezer for 2-3 hours. Any longer and ice will collect on top of the cubes and makes it very hard to remove. When ready to remove, place the back side of the ice-cube tray under running water for just a few seconds. This helps to remove them.
Tip #3: Place fruit/vegetable ice cubes into large freezer bags and use mailing address labels and a sharpie to mark the type and date.
Tip #4: Frozen baby food lasts up to three months in the freezer, after that it should be discarded.
Tip #5: If you can afford the Beaba Baby Cook machine – please purchase one or ask for it for your birthday, holiday, anniversary, etc. It saves time and while it doesn’t cook as much as baking or steaming in a big pot, it’s hassle and mess free!
Tip #6: The night before daycare place the servings in a sandwich baggie and put in a lunch bag with freezer pack. This saves time afterward in having to wash Tupperware containers. With being frozen and having a freezer pack, they stay that way even in a sandwich baggie.
Tip #7: You can heat your baby food on the stove in a small pot or microwave it. Yes, I said microwave – just be sure you swirl the baby food around and taste it so there are no hot spots.
Tip #8: You do not need to add oil, sugar or anything else to the baby food – just cook and puree. However, you might need to add formula or some water from the cooked fruit/vegetable to the baby food so that it’s the right consistency you are looking for.
Tip #9: You can heat your baby food in the small glass Pyrex bowls (used to mix spices, etc.) in the microwave.
Tip #10: When feeding baby – be prepared to have a mess and use wipes to do the cleaning, they are quick, moist and easier than a rough paper towel on the baby’s face.
I hope these tips help you navigate through the baby food making world. If you have any questions or want to learn more about what are the best first foods for your baby Pinterest is a great resource as well as http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/.
Until next time, happy baby food cooking!