Let’s think for a moment about the thought of preparing your own baby food from scratch.
What things come to mind?
“I don’t have time”… “it’s way too complicated”… “how do I know if my baby will be getting all the proper nutrients?”..."I forgot to put those little mitts on my baby's hands so he doesn't scratch himself"...
And so on.
Intimidation is the reality of taking the leap into preparing baby’s meals at home, but with a little research and taking a “one day at a time” approach, intimidation will cower to empowerment.
As all new moms and dads know, research is a huge component to the parenting gig.
Parenthood brings with it excessive amounts of the unknown so we try to read up on the subject, take advice from friends and family and analyze each tidbit in hopes of becoming the ultimate care giver.
The research piece of the evolution from jarred baby food to home prepared almost takes care of itself if you switch your study from which jarred foods are the best, to that of the basics of making baby food at home.
Then if you take a “one day at a time” approach, you can resolve to make a puree or two to see how it goes without immediately committing to a personal title change of “Master Baby Chef” for the next 12 months or so.
If you take this kind of approach, there are no lofty aspirations to fail to achieve.
You may even be more comfortable doing a mix of both home prep and buying jarred foods at the beginning until you start to get into a happy culinary rhythm at home…which before long, I predict will happen.
You’re probably wondering why I would suggest buying jarred food if I’m a homemade food prep advocate.
I don’t want to convey that jarred food is the worst thing you can give to your baby and be a fear monger like those 6 o’clock news clip headlines, “How Christmas Tree Lights Can Turn into Mini Bombs.”
If doing a mix of jarred and homemade food to start with relieves some of the intimidation then at least the first step into a world of home prep has been made rather than avoided altogether.
There are endless amounts of information available on homemade baby food prep and some include painful, intricate steps that would make anyone think 5 times before attempting it themselves.
As an example, I read an article on how to store frozen food cubes.
Once the cubes were transferred to a freezer bag the detailed instructions told me to insert a straw into the corner of the baggie and suck as much of the air out as possible and then seal it to keep the freshness in and excess air out.
When I translated that into my own routine, I just rolled the cubes over once in the bag to press the air out and then seal.
I’m sure the “suck out the air with a straw” method would allow for the ultimate in freshness, but I also think it would be the demise of many parent’s homemade baby food prep aspirations.
Never fear…here is a good basic veggie puree recipe.
Give it a try and see how it goes.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Meets Carrots
Age – 6 months +
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Add carrots to a steamer over boiling water. Cover and cook for 8 minutes.
- Add broccoli and cauliflower to carrots, cover and continue to steam for another 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes
- Transfer veggies to a blender, food processor or bowl if using a hand blender to puree.
- Add 3 tbsps. or more of the liquid used to steam the veggies depending on how thin or thick you want the consistency to be.
- Younger babies around 6-7 months old should have a nice thin smooth consistency, whereas older babies can handle a bit more texture.
- Add the butter and puree until desired consistency is achieved.
- Let cool and then transfer a few servings to a tightly sealed food storage container in the fridge to be used within 48 hrs. and the rest to freezing trays which will safely last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
As baby gets a bit older, this veggie combo is great to add to left over rice from a family meal for an instant lunch or dinner for baby.
Makes approx. 12 servings. (1 serving = 2 tbsp.)
$ and cents – 1 head of broccoli + 1 head of cauliflower + 1 bunch of carrots costs about $6.00.
This would translate into more than 24 servings of this recipe.
Literally, pennies a serving and priceless in freshness and nutrients.
So what do you say?
Do you want to join me in my Baby Food Evolution by redirecting some of your parenthood research to the basics of baby food prep, and taking it one day at a time withholding any lofty aspirations?
Let’s do it!