For me, the world of solid foods was exciting & petrifying at the same time. As challenging as newborns can be, at least their food source is relatively uncomplicated: pop a boob in their mouth until they’re satisfied or mix up some formula per the instructions. I could handle that.
Then, that day comes somewhere around 6 months, when all of a sudden you’re supposed to give your baby real food. I couldn’t wait to see my son’s face after the first spoonful. To watch how he reacted to the new textures & flavors.
But I was also… sort of… scared out of my mind. I don’t have much trust in our food system. Most of the products being advertised as ‘great for baby’s first food’ are full of sugar or other processed junk. They contain ingredients that are genetically modified and science hasn’t definitively told us there aren’t side effects from eating that.
Ultimately, I decided to skip the baby food aisle all together and introduce fresh, prepared-at-home veggies for Colin’s first ‘real’ foods. Despite what baby food companies say, you don’t have to start with rice cereal or oatmeal. We started with summer squash and shortly after introduced avocado, carrots & green beans.
It’s been almost 6 months since that first solid food and while Colin enjoys the occasional store-bought treat, his diet is still primarily homemade [and as he’s demonstrating below… even with my limited culinary skills, it’s finger-licking good!]
Here are a few tips/products I found especially helpful for making baby food:
- ‘Cooking for Baby’ Cookbook: this is the one & only baby cookbook I purchased. When I first read it, I couldn’t believe I had spent $ for someone to give me a recipe that says ‘Steam. Puree. Serve.’ But as a complete newbie, I needed to know that baby food preparation truly was that simple. And as Colin has grown (the book is divided by age), the recipes have gotten much more interesting. I’ve really enjoyed this cookbook.
- Immersion blender: Sure, you can buy a fancy baby food maker. However, this made more sense to me. I use it for baby food, but also for pureeing soups & getting the lumps out of my mashed potatoes [among other things]. It’s a kitchen instrument that I can use forever, not just during the baby days, and that’s important to me since we have limited storage space.
- Ice cube trays: I make large batches of baby food at once & freeze for months. I steam the veggies, puree using my immersion blender, and then spoon into these ice cube trays for freezing. I like these because they make perfectly square cubes (which look cute in my freezer) & the silicone makes it super easy to remove the food after it’s frozen.
- Refillable Squeeze Pouches: These are great for bringing homemade baby food with you outside the house. I do purchase store-bought organic pouches too, but it’s nice to have the option to make your own!
Did you make your own baby food? Any other things you found helpful?
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