Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baby food.

Ive been busy making baby food for Allister.
I don't like store bought stuff, that's just me. In fact, in England pretty much everyone makes their own baby food. Like a friend of mine said, you wouldn't live off off ready meals or TV dinners would you!

Its oh so simple to do, here's how I make the stage 1 foods. Once these single foods are introduced we get a bit more adventurous with say, roasted veg or something.

So, pick your fruit or veggie, rinse thoughtfully.
Depending on what you make, most foods need cooking so chop up and put in a pan, bring to boil then simmer till tender.
Prunes just need soaking, and ripe pears and other soft fruits like bananas and peaches don't need cooking at all, just blitz, add water if required, and your done! No excuses there right?

Here's my prunes soaking. Reserve the water, its full of goodness.

And here are my carrots cooking.

Once cooked, soaked, chopped whatever, stick in a blender and blitz. Add reserved water from soaking and cooking till the right consistency is reached. Don't use the reserved water for carrots, they have too many nitrates. I make my apples first, then use the apple water for the carrots. Makes them extra yummy!

Then spoon into ice cube trays, or little containers and freeze. Once frozen put in zip-loc bags and then you can just pop out one or two in the morning for each meal.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I found these awesome baby food pots with lids, they will be great for travel, and also for when I make more exotic frozen meals as apposed to plane purees.

So thats pretty much it!
When your ready to use, pop out a cube (or two) add your cereal and microwave for about 15 seconds, then allow to cool till the right temperature.
When you blitz the purees make them a fraction thicker than you want as they will be a little more runny once defrosted.

You can then add say, pears to bananas, or apples to squash and cereal and make your own combinations. Its a lot cheaper and so much better for baby.
Why better? Well here's my opinion:

Home made baby food has a lot more flavor and texture. Try it, you'll see. I have done side by side taste comparisons myself, allot of baby foods taste so bland. Even the good organic, good quality stuff. They have to be cooked at such a high temp for safety reasons (killing bacteria when mass produced) that they lose lots of flavor and nutrients. I think this can make a child a more picky eater, because they are not used to strong flavors. And also some kids get used to lack the of texture too, home made food is not as smooth as store bought, and you can increase the thickness and texture more gradually than just going from stage 1-2-3 etc.
You can also introduce a wide variety of flavors, like zucchini, rutabaga, parsnips, avocado. things you don't always get in the store.
And when you begin to introduce more "real life" foods you can just omit the salt, and blitz or finely chop whatever you eat.

With Harrison I made a ton of home made baby foods, turkey sausages, fish cakes, pasta dishes etc. I do think that's why he pretty much eats anything you put in front of him, and he will eat a new food either right away, or after seeing it 2 or 3 times. I hope Allister is the same! I would hate a picky eater. I am not cooking more than one (or 2 with a veggie option!) dinner choices!

The down sides, it takes more time, and I guess if your not hygienic you could introduce bacteria. I cant think of another down sides. Mess maybe?

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