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Baby Food: Tips on Making Your Own

Cuisinart SmartStick, OXO tot blocks

I've done a combination of both, making my own baby food and buying organic baby food from the store. Making your own is going to be cheaper and you can customize your baby food. For instance, with your child's tastes in mind, you can use one of their favorites mixed with something new to help them try new foods. You can also change the consistency according to baby's tastes/development with more or less chunky veggie/fruits or more pureed and thinning with water. You can make large batches at one time, and then freeze the baby food in single portion containers that can be pulled the night before and quickly unthawed when needed with a bowl of hot water. Of course, if you make your own baby food, you know all the ingredients that go into it. No added preservatives.

On the other hand, store bought baby food is convenient and comes in a variety of flavors and combinations. Choose what works best for you. I'm going to walk you through making your own baby food, but feel free to go to the store, and get the stuff that's ready to be consumed if that's what works best for you. I do. But initially I did make my own, it just takes some time, cooking, and clean up, but otherwise it's pretty straight forward.

My kiddo loves sweet potatoes. So, when he was still doing pureed foods, I would boil an entire bag of sweet potatoes. So, I would first wash them thoroughly, peel them, and cut them into quarters. Then boil them in water for about 35 minutes. Then, check to see if they are tender after 35 minutes, you should be able to easily stick a fork into them. If not, cook an additional 5 minutes or so as needed. Drain immediately. Allow potatoes to cool.

Once they have cooled enough to handle. Dice the cooked potatoes, then add to your blender or use a handheld immersion blender and blend sweet potatoes with a small amount of water. Continue to add water until the pureed mixture has reached the desired consistency your little one is comfortable consuming. Then, spoon sweet potato puree into single serving plastic containers to freeze and store. Put a few servings in the fridge to be consumed in the next three days.

Other combinations that I have had good luck with are: chicken and apple sauce, broccoli and apple sauce, and cauliflower and apple sauce. My kiddo liked apple sauce, so I paired this with other ingredients to get him to try new foods. I don't know if this is why, but my oldest will eat pretty much anything you put in front of him. He doesn't like a few foods, but he's game to try new things.

I would do about 2/3 apple sauce to 1/3 chicken or broccoli or cauliflower, and add water as necessary to reach the desired consistency. I didn't make my own apple sauce, I bought large jars of organic, unsweetened apple sauce to mix with the other foods or to eat on its own.

If I was already baking chicken for myself and my husband, I would just set aside one chicken breast to cut up and blend with apple sauce. I would either not season the chicken I planned to use for Eli, or cut off the seasoned outside of the chicken. As he got older, and was able to chew small bites of food, I introduced more seasoning, except salt. I skip salt for most of what we eat. If I season things well with other herbs, I don't miss the salt.

So, whenever I am making dinner, I usually set aside part of the veggies or meat to puree for my little one. Even easier are fruits or veggies that can be mashed or blended quickly, with no cooking needed, for one ingredient meals such as: mashed avocado, mashed banana, or if your little one is still needing a smoother puree form, add water or apple sauce to the avocado or banana and pulse with a blender.

As my kiddo matured and was able to eat finger foods. I would dice sweet potatoes and roast them in the oven with a little olive oil for about 20 minutes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring halfway. This was an easy snack I could prepare ahead of time and reheat a serving on demand. He also loves roasted carrots.

I hope this helps you try some new foods with your little one, and if you are interested in making your own baby food, I hope this gives you some ideas to try.

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