Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Making Babyfood...Yum!

So I decided to try something new yesterday, making homemade babyfood. A good friend of mine (thanks Stef!) gave me this great book called So Easy Babyfood and it's by Joan Ahlers and Cheryl Tallman (see above pic). The book is really easy to read and it's packed with easy recipes on how to cook nutritious babyfood for your baby. When Avonlea was old enough to eat babyfood, I was working and VERY busy. Are you kidding? I didn't think I had time for this stuff, BUT after taking only 30 minutes to make a week's worth of babyfood yestday, I'm sure I could've found the time back then. Anyway, the book has some interesting facts:

1. When you buy processed babyfood, it's "cooked at extremely high temperatures to kill all bacteria so they can be stored in jars at room temperature" Bacteria aren't the only things killed in this process. Vitamins and nutrients are also destroyed".
2. Babyfood can also be up to three years old when you buy it on the grocery store shelf.

So, after reading these facts, I decided to give homemade babyfood a try. I bought some of the fruits and veggies the book suggested (it goes by age and tells you what is age appropriate to try from months 6-12), took them home and followed the steps in the book. Some of the fruits and vegetables I bought were:
bananas, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, a few different varieties of squash, zucchini, apples, pears, asparagus, black beans, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, corn, green beans, peas and mango.

Here are the steps:

Step 1.) buy an assortment of foods

Step 2.) peel and cut up the foods (I tried apples and pears first)

Step 3.) Steam the foods. You need a strainer that will fit over a boiling pot of water (or a steamer basket, whatever that is. I couldn't find one) and the pot needs to be covered with a lid.

Step 4.) Mash the foods to a babyfood-type texture.

Step 5.) Store the babyfood in icecube trays in your freezer and label with the food and date you made it on. (Foods are good in the freezer up to 2 months.) When you need a meal for your baby, pop it out of the icecube tray (you may need to set the bottom in hot water to defrost a bit), defrost in your microwave and serve. Yummy!
The book also suggests steaming the babyfood in the microwave. It does save time and effort. I chose to try the steaming method this time, but I might try the microwave method next time.
I guess you can even try meats and harder veggies by using a food processor. Ours doesn't work so I can't say that I've tried any of those recipes yet.
Even if your baby is older than 12 months, you could still use this idea to steam fruits and veggies so they're suitable for a toddler to eat (chunky, but steamed so it's not hard to swallow).
The book suggests that "parents who use processed babyfood spend an average of $300.00 or more on babyfood during their infant's first year of life." By making homemade babyfood, the cost goes down to an average of $55.00. (Do take into consideration that there are a few things to processor, steamer basket, ice cube trays or storage containers for the freezer... they can add up as well so don't forget to add that total to what you don't already have).
This is not to say that Lincoln will never have processed babyfood, but it is fun to make the "real stuff" and there's definately a sense of pride when feeding it to him. If I might add, he LOVES the homemade babyfood so much more than the processed. He kicks, smiles and can't get enough of it. I usually never see that responce with the other food. It's really funny to watch. =)
If anyone else tries this, let me know how it came out! I'd love to share recipes.

1 comment:

Mel said...

I would loved to have made Em's baby food. Maybe next time, I will have to get that book. We would love to have you come to Illinois next winter. Hopefully this will be one of the last snows of the winter this year. Usually by mid to end of March things start looking up! Love to see what you're up to!