I wanted to share my experience of making my own baby food with you! It is so easy and rewarding (economical & eco-friendly too!) to make your baby, fresh homemade food!
If you haven't already, Please Read my "Baby Food Introduction" FIRST before reading this and the veggies post! Thank you!
You can also read my post on Baby Food-Fruit Here!
Salt and Sugar are Never needed when making baby food. Omit these items, preferably at ALL times, in your baby's meals. Other spices such as cinnamon, garlic powder, pepper etc. may be introduced as early as 7 months with your pediatricians consult.
**Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.
Certain foods such as Strawberries should not be given to babies under the age of 1 year old due to possible allergy risks. As stated above, please consult with your Pediatrician first. *I DID** and now that "DD" is over a year old, I was able to introduce all foods to her and as far as I know, she has no known food allergies.
I wanted to share really quick about preparing meat for baby food! I haven't given "DD" that big a variety yet, but I do make sure she gets Chicken at least 2-3 times a week and she really loves to chow on BBQ Pork (boneless) Ribs when we make it! Please check the site I recommended in my "Baby Food Introduction" linked, near the top of this page. That site has all the foods and meats listed that are safe for baby and when you should give certain foods. Not all meat is appropriate depending on your child's age!
Anyway, when I make chicken, I try to buy Organic pieces. One chicken breast makes several meals for "DD" because I mix it in with her veggies. So its actually pretty cheap to buy her the Organic since it goes a long way. At my local grocery store, I found I can buy a 2 pack of Organic chicken breasts for under $2.00! Actually, with my club card, it was like $1.70.
I Found the easiest way to cook it is to boil a piece in a pot with a scant amount of water until cooked. I think most people would prefer to bake it, but to be honest, I'm not about to heat up the oven and house in the middle of summer, just to cook one piece of chicken. I Freeze the other piece to use the next week. One piece in a week is plenty for her. If I try to give her more than that, she gets burnt out and doesn't want it. After I cook it, I let it cool and then chop into chunks and run it through my Hand Crank Food Mill! I love this thing! Its Fantastic for grinding up any kind of meat or other food and portable too!
I have the Food mill pictured above and it has a metal blade and a plastic mesh plate that the food gets pushed through. Some people prefer both the blade and plate to be metal and to be honest, when I purchased mine, I was under the impression the plate was metal as it was pictured so, but it was plastic instead. I was bummed, but turns out it actually works very well! So I guess it doesn't really matter which kind you get. The only issue I've had with it, is when I am trying to grind up pork. Depending on the kind you buy, some pork can be very fatty and gristle and very difficult to grind. Other then that, it works like a charm, especially on good chicken. **Try not to grind the Skin from Chicken, same as the pork, the fat will pretty much refuse to grind through**.
When I first started making my on Homemade Baby Food, I Discovered this little Beauty!
This Baby does Everything! Its a blender, steamer, defroster and reheater all in one unit!
And it ONLY costs $149.95 !! Ya, pretty ridiculous pricing....but I would still love to have one anyway LOL! A Mom can Dream right!??
Amazon.com! I absolutely Love Amazon! I can find pretty much anything I'm looking for there and most of the stuff I get Free Shipping Prime when you sign up for Amazon Mom! Its completely Free! You get the first 3 months free and your benefits get extended for every $25 you spend on baby stuff, you get an extra month of benefits up to a year! Plus you get 30% off Diapers, wipes and other baby related items.
**When Blending in Blender!! Use the "LOW" Speed Setting there is a "Low and High" setting. If you leave it on High when you first start to blend, you will have much difficulty because it will blend too fast and spray away the food instead of slowly grinding it up. Start on Low and then you can change to High if you choose once its more liquefied** Settings I like to use are "Low" Speed and settings on "Grind or Blend". **
*When Blending Veggies, you will need to add a small amount of water because they are very thick and do not have as much natural water as Fruit. You can add as much or as little water as you like, depending on what consistency you would like. I recommend adding it in small amounts until you get the desired consistency.
*Some people like to use the water they cooked the food in. For example, using the water that was used to steam peas or carrots. I DO NOT recommend doing this, unless you have done your research and know what veggies are safe to do this and which are not. Certain vegetables such as Carrots, contain "Nitrates" which can be harmful to babies, especially under 8 months old. When cooked, the Nitrates can be released into the water and can pose a health threat if used. Please refer to this site for all your Nutritional Information and Health facts for baby food: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/index.htm
I have always found it easy enough to just add my own Tap or Bottled water to all the food to avoid any risk.
*When Blending, you will also have to stop several times and mix with a spoon, since most veggies tend to be very thick in consistency. But its easy enough to stop, mix and continue to blend. Blending Veggies takes much longer than Fruit. The more pureed you want it, the longer it takes.
****Coming soon, when I make my next batches!****