For Oven's Sake!

Let's get cookin' …with kids!

The Mother of All Baby Food Posts

on March 25, 2014

In addition to reading this post, please also read WebMD’s article about introducing solid foods to your baby.  Take the advice of your pediatrician over mine. (Duh! I’m just another mom without a medical degree.)  This is simply a documentation of the yummy food I’ve made for my second born so far.  I hope it inspires you to cook up some fresh baby food of your own!

Experts say most babies are ready to start solid food between 4 and 6 months.  I started big brother Oz around 5 months and was much more selective and took things much slower than with little brother Danny.

As it says in the WebMD article… it is important to follow certain guidelines, but take your baby’s cues into account as well.

Danny’s been pretty clear with his cues from the beginning.

"I'm hungry, Ma!"

“I’m hungry, Ma!”

Now, you don’t need all the fancy baby food making gadgets they have out there.  Some are helpful, sure, but you can do the same thing with items you likely already have in your kitchen.  For example, a saucepan with lid works for steaming and a food processor and/or immersion blender work for texture… you could probably even use a potato masher for some foods.

This is great for freezing portions.  However, a regular old ice cube tray works, too.

This is great for freezing portions. However, a regular old ice cube tray works, too.

Glass storage containers with lids, some tape, and a pen are helpful for storing in the freezer, too.

Glass storage containers with lids, some tape, and a pen are helpful for storing in the freezer, too.

This is great for on-the-go, but again, not necessary.

This is great for on-the-go, but again, not necessary.

Shoot, even a fork can be used for things like ripe bananas!

Shoot, even a fork can be used for things like ripe bananas!

Bake up an acorn squash (or any kind) until nice and soft.

Bake up an acorn squash (or any kind) until nice and soft.

A fork works for that, too.

And use a fork for that, too.

Shoot, even my big kid wanted in on that.

Even my big kid wanted in on that.

(Don’t mind his baby spoon… just a little toddler regression.  Whatev… he’s eating squash, not asking to wear a diaper… pick your battles and all that…)

Spinach is something I couldn’t do with my fancy schmancy baby food gadgets.  There is just too much to start with.

Isn't it pretty?  I love pretty food.

Isn’t it pretty? I love pretty food.

By the way, the HUGE pound container cooks down to about 2 1/2 cups.

By the way, the HUGE 1 pound container cooks down to about 2 1/2 cups…

...but what a beautiful, beneficial 2 1/2 cups it is!

…but what a beautiful, beneficial 2 1/2 cups it is!

Variety is something else the article mentions.

How about fresh green beans?

How about fresh green beans?

Or fresh "rainbow" carrots?!  How pretty!!

Or fresh “rainbow” carrots?! How pretty!!

Even a turnip with a peeled broccoli stem.

Even a turnip with a peeled broccoli stem.

Seriously, I just threw some stuff I had left over together on a whim and he gobbles it up!  Here are some other “leftover” combos:

Fresh curly parsley with carrots.

Leftover curly parsley with carrots.

Leftover mushrooms and onions?  Sure, thrown them in with some carrots!

Leftover mushrooms and onions? Sure, thrown them in with some more carrots!

I’ve heard you should introduce veggies before fruits so they won’t reject the veggies due to lack of sweetness.  I didn’t really follow this with Oz.  Josh swears he had a banana every day at first.

I didn’t follow it with Danny either.  I went back and forth with fruits and veggies from the beginning.  Now, at 8 months he has fruit, veggies, and usually some kind of grain every day.

Oh Baby!  Berries!

Oh Baby! Berries!

Looks good enough to eat!

Looks good enough to eat!

And I did.  On ice cream.

And I did. On ice cream.

Hey! I worked hard.  Look at all that baby food I had just made!

Hey! I worked hard. Look at all that baby food I had just made!

Oh hush!  I didn't eat it all.  Danny had some the next day!

Oh hush! I didn’t eat it all. Danny had some the next day!

Come to think of it, there are still a couple cubes in the freezer now… and some leftover vanilla ice cream.  Hmm… brb.

Back to the fruit.  How about some apples?

Leave the skin on.  It's nutritious!

Leave the skin on. It’s nutritious!

Just steam it long enough that the skins are soft.

Just steam it long enough that the skins are soft.

And blend it up.  Add some cinnamon, too!

And blend it up. Add some cinnamon, too!

I'm a big fan on leaving the skin on.  These are plums!

I’m a big fan on leaving the skin on. These are plums!

Sooo… once I cook and puree the food, I freeze it in portions using my fancy schmancy baby food portion freezer tray… or just a regular old ice cube tray.  In the morning, I thaw a couple out and his solid food is set for the day!

Here’s what I’ve made for sweet Baby Danny so far…

Carrots, mango, turnips with peeled broccoli stems.

Carrots, mango, turnips with peeled broccoli stems…

Spinach and green beans...

…spinach, green beans…

...pineapple, blueberries with strawberries...

…pineapple, blueberries with strawberries…

...carrots with parsley, zucchini, pears...

…carrots with parsley, zucchini, pears…

...more zucchini, apples without skin...

…more zucchini, apples without skin…

...apples with skin and cinnamon, and plums with skin.

…apples with skin and cinnamon, and plums with skin.

He’s also had a few foods that don’t take as much prep work:

  • avocado – just mashed right up.
  • sweet potato – again, just mashed.
  • broccoli cheese soup – carefully inspected to avoid larger pieces.
  • pancakes – the extra soft stuff taken from the middle of the cake.
  • biscuits – again, taken from the middle.
  • vanilla ice cream – only a teeny tiny bite to see his reaction.  Of all the crazy combinations I’ve fed him (namely, turnip and broccoli stems), THIS surprisingly produced the most sourpuss face.  Apparently he’s more perplexed by temperature rather than taste at this point.

Something I’ve learned is that consistency can help keep the mess down.  If it’s too runny, add some baby cereal.  On the other hand, if it’s too thick, add some milk or formula.

Did I say keeps the mess down?  Well, kinda.

Did I say keeps the mess down? Well, kinda.

Now that he’s getting pretty good at this eating thing (not to mention, he just popped his 6th tooth), we’re moving on to soft, small pieces.

Banana chunks, for example.

Banana chunks, for example.

"Mmm, nana!"

“Mmm, nana!”

I even shared my egg with him.

I’ve even shared my egg with him.

"I like eggs!  Ok, I like everything you feed me!"

“I like eggs! Ok, I like everything you feed me!”

Now don’t freak out on me!  As of 2008, The American Academy of Pediatrics says there isn’t a need to delay the introduction of commonly allergenic foods.  Read more about The Baby Food Revolution on Baby Center.

Our pediatrician is really laid back about what we can and should feed our baby.  He actually said, “Other than honey, you can feed him anything as long as he can handle the texture.  You can feed him jalapenos if you want.  Now, it might make him uncomfortable, but you won’t damage him.”

We haven’t fed him jalapenos, but we have given him eggs (as seen above) and peanut butter…

Just a tiny bit mixed with banana.  Have you ever eaten a pb banana?  If not, you should!

…just a tiny bit mixed with banana. Have you ever eaten a pb banana? If not, you should!

I have a friend who ground her own brown rice using a coffee grinder for baby rice cereal.  However, I buy ours.  I also buy baby puffs for their convenience.

Brothers sharing baby puffs.

Brothers sharing baby puffs.

I buy baby MumMums, too.  They’re pretty much baby rice cakes.

MumMumMumMum

MumMumMumMum

Just this past weekend, he worked on his pincer grasp with his first taste of banana bread.

Eat up, little love.  You'll be getting a lot of this in the future!

Eat up, little love. You’ll be getting a lot of this in the future!

There you have it.  The documentation of the yummy food I’ve made (sometimes with him attached to me in the baby front pack) for my second born so far.

Don't let his expression of indifference fool you.  He looooooves his baybuh fooood!

“Now stop taking pictures, Ma and FEEEEEED MEEEEE!”

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