I am a baby food chef. Now, I don’t want to sound like one of “those” mothers — a woman who is so neurotic and controlling that she insists on slaving away in the kitchen to prepare only the finest for her baby. However, when it comes to the food I am putting into my baby’s body I don’t see how I could feel any other way. The funny thing is, now that Evelyn is used to homemade she turns her nose up at the stuff that comes out of a factory. When we travel I give her the pre-made stuff, and it takes about twice as long to feed her because she is less enthusiastic about the meal!
Here are my primary reasons for going through the extra effort in the kitchen:
1. I like to cook. A lot. Every night I make a nice dinner for my husband and myself, so why would I do anything less for my daughter? Plus, I like knowing what exactly is in the food she is eating. I can pretty safely bet that factory-made “chicken dinner” from a jar is not made with all-white chicken breast — it likely has the random “leftover” dark meat from which picky adults turn away.
2. Think of the environmental impact of all those jars!! Every day Evie goes through the equivalent of 6-9 jars of baby food. In the approximate 6 months that she will be eating pureed baby food, that comes to a whopping 1,620 jars!! Even if I were to recycle every one, the energy required to process the waste is staggering. Homemade baby food is the environmentally friendly thing to do!
3. Making homemade organic baby food saves a LOT of money. Typical organic jarred baby food costs 70-85 cents/jar. I can make homemade organic foods for about 15-20 cents/jar. In six months, I would spend $1,377 on pre-made stuff — versus just $324 for homemade. I can think of a lot of fun ways to spend the $1,053 I am saving…
4. Its fun! No, really! I am free to experiment with different food combinations. I can choose the texture, offering Evelyn new sensations in her mouth. I’ll be sure to post my baby food recipes often.
I make big batches at one time, so in reality making baby food at home doesn’t take a ton of time. And I store all the food I make in the freezer in glass baby food jars (I buy prune baby food in the jar, so I just re-use the jars when I make the rest of Evelyn’s food). Here’s what I worked on today:
1. Peel & chop 8 organic apples and set into a steamer basket set over 2 inches of boiling water (this is the one I use). Steam for 5 minutes.
2. Add in 1 pint hulled organic strawberries and one chopped banana. Steam a few minutes more (till the apples are soft).
3. Put all the fruit into a bowl and add in some of the water. Puree (I use an immersion blender like this because it works fast and is easy to clean) until the desired consistency is reached.
1. Chop 3 organic zucchini (you can peel it, but I leave the skin on because it provides Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus and Copper, and is a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese). Steam for approximately 5 minutes or until it is soft.
2. Prepare 1 cup of dried lentils according to directions on the bag.
3. Combine cooked lentils and steamed zucchini in a bowl. Sprinkle on a few good shakes of dried cumin and coriander.
4. Blend well and enjoy!
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