I often have the "highlight reel" conversation about our Instagram because clearly the meltdown family photos and cardboard box shipping photos from the warehouse aren't the ones that attract new followers or get a lot of likes. But, the things I do share are the ones that are important to me, the ones that I love the most.
And it is true what they say about the meticulous level of care and caution provided to baby #1 vs baby #2 (and baby #3 in our case - who's featured here, love him!). I think part of it is parenting experience and knowing what to expect, while a lot of it is simply a lack of time and more focus on what is truly important. But, one thing I loved doing and truly believe made a difference for my little ones was making their own baby food.
It started when I tasted one of those dreadful pouches for myself. If you haven't done it I'd certainly recommend you give it a try. Another motivator was my quest to provide cleaner, more pure & organic ingredients and food choices for my family, right from the start. And as a third thought, I think exposing your children to fresh, new ingredients every day helps to make them more flexible and ambitious eaters for life.
While my "recipes" are always like my Grandmothers, teaching tips & discussions and loose approximations, instead of full recipes the below have been some of my favorite, simple combinations for you to try if you're looking to make your own baby food.
- Peas + Mint
- Sweet Potato + Sage
- Apple + Cinnamon
- Carrot + Nutmeg
- Broccoli + Apple
- Butternut Squash + Cinnamon
- Spinach + Pineapple
- Cherry + Pear + Kale
Other Baby Food Tips ....
- For the purees I would simply steam the fruits + veggies and add them to the blender to puree. Sometimes I needed to add water to thin the puree and I'd add the water straight from the saucepan to take advantage of the nutrients. Add the fresh herbs at the end for a final puree.
- For most ingredients I used fresh, organic fruits + veggies but for some things, like broccoli and peas I would go frozen (organic) as they're just as good and much easier sometimes.
- I didn't have a lot of luck with fruits that browned easily - apples, pears + bananas - as the purees tended to brown quickly and taste not so great. And really, these tended to be the softer foods that I could mash with a fork and just feed to the kiddos with much less ease than a puree.
- For the more "bitter" veggies, I tend to add a sweeter fruit component (like apple, pineapple, or peach) to jump up the flavor, while still keeping the nutrients and variation of adding another food to the mix
- I make batches at a time one or two times per month. It goes more quickly and efficiently this way and gives you enough in the freezer to get you through.
- Fresh herbs from the garden are such an easy way to amp up the flavor and give your babe a lot of flavor and variation from such simple ingredients.
- This is in no way an endorsement but having tried everything from large ice cube molds to "baby food" containers, I loved this little squeeze pouch food system so, so much and I couldn't imagine making + storing baby food without it.
- I would usually pair my purees with some organic brown oatmeal or plain yogurt to give a more complete meal.
Good luck - I'd love to know some of our favorite pairings and tips as well!