Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Make Your Own Baby Food

Ben has only really played around with food and we haven't been feeding him every day, but he absolutely loves it. For several weeks he has been grabbing spoons, cups, and any other dishes or food he can get his hands on. We used our good friend Darby's yellow squash to make Ben's first baby food. I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds with a spoon, then placed it on a cookie sheet with about 1/4 inch of water. I baked it for about an hour at 400 degrees and it was total mush by the time that hour was up. I probably could have taken it out sooner, but it was so easy to scoop out into the food processer once it cooled. While pureeing it I added enough breastmilk to make it very runny, then I poured the mix into ice cube trays and froze.

I did the same process with green beans a week later, except I used the steamer to cook them. I put wax paper (left over from my cereal boxes - thanks Alma :) over the ice cube trays to prevent freezer burn, and then I poped them all out the next day and dumped them in a big tub that used to hold animal crackers. We have plenty of room in our deep freeze, and now we have about 40 baby food ice cubes.

We got the green beans from a friend that sells at the farmer's market. I'm determined (for now at least) to only feed Ben locally grown, fresh vegetables. We haven't really grown anything that's baby food friendly just yet, so I'm relying on our farmer's market for now. I even bought some of those purple beans, (like green beans) and steamed some of those for Ben's baby food. They taste just like green beans and even turn green when cooked, but they looked neat.

Ben absolutely loves green beans and bananas. He's fine with the squash and avacado, and he hated the peaches. I think they were too tart. I might thaw one squash cube with a green bean cube and mix them in order to use up the squash. I mixed some squished banana with the peaches and that went better too. So much food ends up all over him and the chair (and the floor), but at least he's enjoying himself.


  1. not sure if you pop over to my blog regularly enough to notice, but we totally skipped the puree part with Keeley and had no issues. for the first while she basically ate fruit, whole, like a peach, we peeled it and let her suck on it. Eventually she started chewing. I started that at 7 months, basically as dinner, then added breakfast at 8 months, mostly rice cereal and applesauce, as I was a nervous ninny going it alone. At nine months I tried introducing lunch but she doesn't usually go for much at that time of day. Since Ben is getting all the nutrients he needs from breast milk ("food is for fun until age 1!") I wouldn't worry too much about the nutrients and such (although I totally applaud the farmers market deal)...Once Keeley started to chew, we started giving her bite sized pieces of things. (Modeling eating and chewing helps, they catch on really quickly).. she's had a ton of stuff that a lot of babies her age haven't gotten to yet. Supposedly according to the baby food companies babies can't chew until they can crawl with their bellies off the ground. Well, Keeley drags herself everywhere, but refuses to get her belly up, and quite frankly, it is starting to hurt she bites so hard if you accidentally get a finger in there (pulling hand to mouth instead of taking it out of our hands)...

    just a thought, it's not for everyone, but it is a LOT easier!

  2. Lara, I made baby food for my two kids many years ago. (As you know I now have gradnkids) Anyway, I would go to the box store (i.e. Aldi's) and buy vegetables. I'd drain the juice and keep it, then put the green beans or what ever in the blender. Then adding juice to get it the right consistency. I use baby food jars from friends. Now they have those nice resealable little plastic baby food containers and then freeze.

    For the fruit, Take the liquid and add tapicoa.(I bought pearl tapicoa at the Amish store.) Cook until thick and blend the thicken juice with the fruit. I'd freeze it the same way.

    I never precooked the canned vegetables.

    Both kids are great eaters now!

  3. I used to make baby food too... 27 years ago! Looks like Ben is enjoying his food - cute pictures. Best wishes with "back-to-work" too! Doesn't seem possible it's school time again already. -tammy

  4. Jill, We are definitely going to try soft finger foods when we run out of our puree cubes. We didn't give Ben any cereal due to my concerns with childhood obesity and starting kids on carbohydrates, but I might try mixing it in with veggies now.

    OBQ, Thanks for the Tapioca tip!

    Terry, I can't believe anyone buys baby food, really. You're right about school - it seems to get earlier every year!

  5. I totally agree on the cereal, the only reason we got it is because of family pressure, then by the time I realized I wasn't really sure about it, I couldn't find the receipt to take it back. I added cinnamon to hers, it is fairly easy to make, but I'd rather give her better stuff for her. It does work in a pinch, though. Somehow seems wrong to feed her green beans for breakfast!