Before I had Keenan, there were 3 things I knew I wanted to do: Have a natural, non-medicated birth (unless absolutely medically necessary), breastfeed for at least 12 months, and make all of his food. I wanted to give Keenan the healthiest start as possible. When I mentioned making all of Keenan’s food to our family and friends, most thought I was crazy, claiming I would never have the time to do it. In addition, they would also say it takes too much time and if I was working, then I could pretty much forget about it.
In reality, making Keenan’s baby food did not take much time at all, and it was quite easy. I made all of his food on Saturday or Sunday afternoons while he was napping. I made big batches, so the food lasted for 3-4 weeks. The time commitment was only about 1 hour every 3-4 weeks, which is nothing! Think about the amount of hours you spend watching TV, surfing the internet, looking at Facebook; you DO have the time to make baby food! It’s like anything else, i.e. exercise, you have to MAKE time! If you keep saying you don’t have the time, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and you won’t have the time.
When we started Keenan on solids at 7 1/2 months, we first introduced oatmeal. Before we began making his food, we purchased 4 silicone ice cube trays from Amazon. com for freezing all his food (1-ounce cubes). To make the oatmeal, I used regular rolled oats and my frozen breast milk. I used the normal ratio of oats to liquid listed on the oatmeal box, but tripled the recipe to make at least 3 trays worth, to last us a month or so.
3 1/3 cup Oats
27.5 oz. breast milk (or you could use 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 water or all water)
4 tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
1. Place raw oats in blender with flax seed and blend until it forms a nice, soft powder (the courser the oats, the thicker and chunkier your oatmeal will be).
2. Meanwhile, bring your milk to a boil (or whatever liquid you use) and gradually add your oats, stirring constantly. Return to a boil and reduce heat to medium and let cook for 5 minutes (or until liquid is absorbed), stirring occasionally.
3. Remove from heat and pour oatmeal into your ice cube trays, cover with foil, and freeze for 24-48 hours.
4. Once frozen, pop out the cubes and place them in a zip-lock bag and store in the freezer. To serve, place 1-2 cubes (depending on how much your baby is eating) in dish and microwave for 30 seconds, mix with spoon and microwave for another 30 seconds until ready to serve. Note: Oatmeal will be very warm, so you might need to add an ice cube or a splash of cold water to cool it down before serving. Also, you can add a dash of cinnamon to the oatmeal for additional flavoring. Keenan loved it with cinnamon!
After feeding Keenan oatmeal for a couple of weeks, we added a veggie for his “lunch.” I used the same freezer method for making his veggies. To save time and provide a variety to choose from (to allow us to introduce a new veggie every few days or so), I made a big batch of veggies and froze them in labeled zip-lock bags. The first veggies he had were green beans and carrots.We steamed the veggies in the microwave, blended them in the food processor and froze the puree in the ice cube trays.
Any Veggie Puree:
Green beans, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
1. Place raw veggies in a microwave safe dish with a few tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on high for several minutes (or until soft and tender when poked with a fork).
2. Place steamed veggies into a food processor and pulse until blended.
3. Pour pureed veggies into ice cube trays and freeze for 24-48 hours.
4. Once frozen, pop out the cubes and store in labeled and dated zip-lock bags. Note: Always date the bags, so you know how long the food has been in the freezer; after a couple of months, the food can have freezer-burn and lose its flavor.
After Keenan was eating multiple veggies, I started preparing them how we eat them (sauteed with garlic and olive oil, or roasted), and then pureed them in the food processor and froze them into cubes. He couldn’t get enough!
After introducing veggies, we started him on fruits, first with banana (served raw in small pieces) and then applesauce. I followed the same freezer method with the applesauce.
Applesauce or any fruit (except for banana):
Fruit (chopped in small pieces)
1. Place chopped fruit in pot and cook on medium heat until it starts to cook down and become soft.
2. Mash fruit with potato masher or large spoon, until fruit becomes the consistency of applesauce.
3. Pour fruit into ice cube trays and freeze for 24-48 hours. After the cubes are frozen, pop out the cubes, place into a labeled zip-lock bag, and store in the freezer.
Hopefully you, too, will see how easy and quick it is to make baby food! I had fun making all his food, and was kind of sad the day Keenan stopped eating pureed food. At 12 months, he wanted to feed himself and only eat what we were eating. Enjoy and happy pureeing!