11/04/2015

About Homemade Baby Food

Awhile back, a friend told me she was making all of her baby's food from scratch. Sounded like a whole lot of work to me. I figured that I was fed whatever came out of a jar, and I turned out okay, so Jacob would be too.

But since I decided to stay home with him, I started thinking that maybe making his baby food could be my little side project. I love cooking, and I thought this could be fun! I turned to Pinterest for some ideas.

Making sweet potato puree: 1. Steam sweet potato chunks (I used frozen!) 2. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking and drain well. 3. Puree in food processor. 4. Store in freezer safe containers. Love these ones by OXO!
Turns out, making baby food isn't so hard! If you have a food processor, you're pretty much good to go! You can use fresh or frozen veggies. Cook the veggies, puree them up, store them in freezer safe containers, and you're done! Some people like to portion off baby food in ice cube trays or baby food/breastmilk storage trays that look like ice cube trays. Then you can just pop out a cube of food when it's time for baby to eat! They also make all kinds of different storage containers!


Over a couple days, I made 30 oz. of baby food! Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, applesauce, green beans, and bananas! 
Although I started him on rice cereal and oatmeal a few weeks before his appointment, we waited for Jacob's 4 month check-up on October 30th (he's actually now 5 months!) to talk with the doctor about starting solids and make sure she approved.

However... I noticed that when we would eat in front of Jacob, he would watch the spoon or fork go down into the food and then up to our mouths. Once, when I was eating my yogurt and granola in front of him, he sat there watching me and opening and closing his mouth! I decided to see what happened if I offered him an empty baby spoon - he opened his mouth right up and closed it around the spoon like he was eating invisible food! I even put a little bit of formula on the spoon and he slurped it right off!

I read somewhere that if a baby is 13 pounds or more, can sit and hold their head up, and will accept a spoon, that they may be ready for cereal. So I decided to give it a try. I fed Jacob rice cereal mixed with formula (from a bowl, not in his bottle) in the morning after his first bottle for a few weeks before I switched to oatmeal. (Same thing, in a bowl, after his first bottle.) He did great with both cereals. I started with half a tablespoon of each and gradually worked up to giving him a whole tablespoon.

Some peds, like ours, say a baby can start food at 4 months. Others (like my friend's ped) suggest you wait until 6 months. Definitely check with your doctor first! Our ped gave us the go-ahead: Jacob is 18 pounds, sits up great in his high chair, and takes a spoon in his mouth with no problem - sometimes he even grabs the spoon and tries to move it to his mouth. (I guess I don't feed him fast enough?!) And because we'd already had such great success with the cereal, she didn't think there would be an issue.


After he finishes his food, I always give Jacob the spoon to play with. It gives him something to mess around with while I clean up the dishes wipe down his tray!

There's some debate about giving baby super sweet, fruity foods first. Some people think that if you do that, they'll develop a sweet tooth and prefer fruits to vegetables. Makes sense to me. So I started with butternut squash, and Jacob loved it! I gave him a little bit of oatmeal and a little bit of squash. Sometimes I gave him a spoonful of each, sometimes I mixed it together. After three days, I gave him some avocado with his oatmeal, and again, he scarfed it down! I'm pretty sure this kid is going to eat everything! When we finish up the avocado, I'll give him some bananas, and then maybe I'll switch to green beans. I know eventually we'll find something that he doesn't like, but so far, he's gobbled up everything.

It's important to me that Jacob tries a lot of different foods. I was a super picky eater as a kid, but I love food now, so I hope that he grows up willing to try all different kinds of fruits and veggies!

Check out my Baby Food Recipe board on Pinterest! Baby food is SUPER EASY to make! Try it and let me know how it goes!

I bought a bag of frozen sweet potatoes for $1.99 and got more than 12 oz. of baby food!
So I saved a little money, anyway!

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