Friday, February 11, 2011
Freezer Cooking: Baby Food Edition
I'm all about baby-led weaning, self-feeding, and mashed food rather than purees, so the food I made is definitely on the chunky side of things (as opposed to being completely liquefied). I don't know how things will go at first and what foods will go over well, so I didn't make a whole bunch to start with. I can always add more to my freezer stash! I also expect that Vera will enjoy eating what we eat (if we're having broccoli, she can have some that has been mashed up, etc.), so I may not need to make "baby food" for very long. (Also, because she is still breastfeeding, she will not be relying upon solid foods for her primary nutrition yet, so this time is about experimenting, learning, and trying new things.)
I like this perspective on what you make to feed your baby:
"I can control what my baby is taking in, and tailor her tastes to what our family actually eats, rather than giving her a huge sweet tooth for apricots, blueberries, and strawberries, when our family is more of a broccoli, rice, and corn sort of family." (from Making Home's great post on DIY baby food)
There is some great information about baby food and introducing solids on Wholesome Babyfood, and there are some good tips and gorgeous pictures of homemade baby food on Styleberry.
Anyway, back to what I did. Here's what I made (so far) and how.
4 servings carrots (I steamed 2 carrots until tender and whirred them in my food processor for a bit)
6 servings sweet potatoes (I baked a sweet potato, scooped out the insides, and mashed it a little with a fork)
8 servings mango (I peeled and chopped 1 mango and whirred it in my food processor)
10 servings yellow squash (I steamed 2 squash until tender and whirred them briefly in my food processor)
12 servings pears (I peeled, cored, and chopped 4 pears and whirred them in my food processor - they were super ripe so didn't need to be cooked)
I filled ice cube trays with my mashed-up food and froze them for a few hours. After they were frozen, I popped them out, separated them into bags, labeled them, and stuck them back in the freezer.
For just a little money and a few minutes of my time (seriously, less than 45 minutes), I now have 40 little cubes of baby food in my freezer. I'm so excited about introducing Vera to solids! Can you believe she'll be 6 months in about a week?
Have you ever made baby food? Any tips to share?