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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mama Thursday (on Tuesday): PPC's Guide to Homemade Baby Food

Have you tried canned baby food?  Imagine condensed soup mixed with canned vegetables.  No wonder so many kids grow up to be picky eaters.  If I had to eat nothing but soulless, lifeless commercial baby food for the first year of life I'd want to drown myself in Kool-Aid and chicken fingers too.

I've been making homemade baby food since Lily was able to eat it.  The few times she's had commercial baby veggies were acts of desperation by an exhausted Mama.  I still feel bad about it.  I still get commercial fruits though, because they haven't screwed those up too bad.  Still, Lily definitely prefers my applesauce over the jarred variety.

To many people, making baby food sounds too difficult.  Put on your big girl panties, folks, because you can do this.  Easily.

Some people (me included) think you need one of these jobbies:

No!  Do not waste your money!  The only thing this will provide you is sore arms and despair.  You will, however, want to get one of these babies:

Yes, it's 50 bucks.  DO IT.  Get the Cuisinart one, or at least get an immersion blender that is at minimum 200 watts and NOT cordless.  I seldom go a week without pulling this out at least twice.

This magic wand is your key to baby food goodness.  Do you have a microwave?  Do you have ice cube trays?  No ice cube trays?  They've got them 2 for a buck at the dollar store.  Now get yourself some frozen veggies (or fresh, whatever you've got on hand), put them in the handy cup the Cuisinart blender comes with, add a little water, cover it with some wax paper, and nuke until soft.  You're aiming for soft and bright, not mushy and brown.  Most veggies take about 6 minutes in my microwave.  Then buzz it up with the blender, spoon into your ice cube trays (most trays hold 1 Tbsp [2 oz] in each cube), and freeze.  Then you can pop them into plastic freezer bags and they're ready to go.

It took me more effort to type that out than it does to actually make baby food.  It's not even worth taking pictures of the process because it's so stupid easy.

Lily's a big fan of single veggies like carrots, peas, green beans, and broccoli, but lately we've been expanding her horizons into combinations like carrot, onion, and lentil; broccoli, rice, and cheese; and corn and oat.  I've mixed white beans and green beans together with Italian seasoning with great results.  She also likes butternut squash with onion, cumin, and chili powder.  The best thing about the stick blender is that you can just put it to whatever you're eating for dinner (maybe mix in a little breastmilk/formula) and puree it.  How easy is that?

This child will eat anything we put in front of her and I really believe it's because she's had so much good, fresh food.  It's interesting to note that we tried some macaroni, cheese, and veggie commercial baby food last week and she barely choked it down.  She was NOT happy about it.

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