Monday, September 29, 2014

Feeding Four Under Four: Homemade Baby Food

Fiery maple leaves, bright blue skies, crisp mornings....yep, it's fall.  Today's highlight was making homemade applesauce with my girls (read on further for those details).  But it also marks 6 months since our baby Joseph has joined us, and with that age usually comes solid foods.  So I thought I would share some encouraging advice for anyone thinking about making homemade baby food.

I've done the store-bought food, and yes, it is very convenient, but consider how long those containers have been on the shelf....maybe longer than your baby has been alive?  And I've also found the store-bought foods a bit watery.  And quality aside, those individual containers are expensive and create a lot of unnecessary rubbish.

It really does not take that much time to create a stash of pureed foods, but there are a few helpful tips that make the process easier.

I do not have a food processor, but everything I have made so far has been just fine in a regular blender.  As for storage, I have been using milk storage bags for mothers who choose to pump their breastmilk.  They are just the right size, and most brands are BPA free.  You can freeze them, and then easily take them with baby when you go out.

Before you just throw whatever fruits or vegetables you want in the blender, consider the skins.  Even pureed in a blender, some skins might be tough to puree.  I've made baby food from pears, peaches, and apples, and I have peeled them all in order to make the consistency smoother.

Secondly, consider the hardness of the fruit or vegetable.  Throwing raw carrots in a blender will take a while before turning smooth.  Some foods are soft enough that they could be mashed with a fork (think bananas and avocados).  Most raw fruits and vegetables are easier to puree if they are steamed first.

Here is a quick review of what Joseph has tried so far:
pears- a strong flavor, but good!
bananas- sweet and delicious!
green beans- not so much
apples- yum!

And now for homemade applesauce!
Don't be intimidated by the title.  It's really just steamed apples churned in a food grinder.  (My mother-in-law gave me this contraption a few years ago, and I finally pulled it out of the back of a cabinet to try it with my girls.  Otherwise I would have just thrown the apples in the blender.)

Super easy applesauce:
1.  Peel, core, slice the apples.
2.  Drizzle a little lemon juice to keep the color.
3. Put the apple slices in a saucepan, add some water.  Bring the water to a boil and then simmer until the apples are soft (about 15 minutes).
4.  Throw everything in a blender, or churn them in an applesauce grinder.

You can also add sugar, cinnamon, etc. but I wanted to keep things pure and simple.  Our batch didn't need the extra sweetener, but a dash of cinnamon made my girls give it a double thumbs up!

Bon appetit!

No comments:

Post a Comment