It’s Friday night, and I’m laying in bed next to the world’s sweetest 8 month old. Time flies.
This is a post I’ve been writing in my head for weeks now. Homemade baby food is something I have grown to be passionate about and I am thrilled to share with you our journey thus far.
Please keep in mind that every mother makes her own decisions and is entitled to do what she thinks is best for the health and well-being of her baby. This is our experience, and I hope it inspires you or someone you know to cook for baby!
Oh, and this post is coming from my iPhone and I’m sure I won’t catch all the typos. Sorry!
Baby Food 101 : The Equipment
We were gifted a Baby Brezza machine! This thing rocks and I would and have recommended it time and time again. The cool function about this machine is that it steams the uncooked food and then automatically begins blending. For me, the mom who turns on the Keurig without putting a mug underneath, this is super handy.
In addition, all you do is add the diced food and water to the reservoir. Set the timer, according to the manual, and go on with your bottle washing, playing, bathing, whatever.
The food is often puréed to a smooth consistency, but if I feel like I would like the texture to be more smooth I can just pulse the blend button a few times.
This machine runs $80-$100 and can be purchased at major retailers.
The parts are top-rack dishwasher safe.
Other equipment we use: knife, cutting board, ice cube tray, freezer bags. All things you already own!
Selecting the best foods for baby
So, this is where the “every mom makes her own decisions” thing comes to play. I’m going to talk about what we fed our son Samuel, at what age, and why. Please research food timelines for yourself and consider the benefits of using fresh organic produce as much as possible!
At 6 months old, the first food we introduced was organic sweet potato. We were able to purchase 4 medium sized potatoes for $3-4. Since we chose to skip out on feeding our guy rice cereal, this was his first taste of anything besides breastmilk. (That’s another post for another day!)
As you can tell, he didn’t love it. When introducing any new food, we give it to him exclusively for 3 days to make sure we can pinpoint the cause of any allergic reaction. By day 2, he was getting the hang out it and loving sweet potato! He was fed in the evenings most days, but we didn’t worry if we skipped a day if he wasn’t acting interested, was tired, we were eating out, etc.
This is the order in which we introduced foods:
- Organic sweet potato (loves it!)
- Organic mashed avocado (did not like)
- Organic butternut squash (really likes!)
- Organic green beans (yuck, mom!)
- Organic red beets (messy, but okay)
- Organic baby carrots (just okay)
- Frozen organic sweet peas (loves!)
We also blended foods! We did as best we could to give these to him exclusively for at least 3 feedings to be able to identify any allergies caused by the blend. Luckily, we have had no issues.
- Sweet potato & squash (yummy!)
- Sweet potato or squash & beets (likes it most of the time)
- Avocado & green beans (love/hate relationship)
- Carrots & beets (just okay)
- Peas & sweet potato (totally yummy!)
- Carrots + beets & sweet potato (yummy!)
For the first 3 weeks we stuck to 6-6:30 pm feedings, then added a lunch time feeding after his morning nap, typically 11:00 am. Up until 8 months old, we have only fed him 1 cube portions (plus breastmilk to thin the puree to the right consistency). We have now bumped up his portion size to 2 cubes and he is doing great and almost always finishes his meal.
Why haven’t we given him fruits?
In an attempt to teach him to like and eat veggies, we have fed him veggies only for 2 months. At 8-9 months we plan to start introducing fruits. I plan to use them to trick him into eating some of the veggies he doesn’t like as well as the others. Gotta love those blends!
I plan to introduce pears & apples first, then progress to bananas, plums and other non-acidic fruits.
Continuing to pump & nurse after introducing foods
I have been nervous about my milk supply decreasing once he started adding something besides breastmilk to his diet and I haven’t experienced any change in production or volume thus far. A breastfeeding update post is on the docket 🙂
What does effect my supply is when I don’t drink enough water or eat full meals on the regular. I’m always working on that! My husband does a very good job to “babysit” me and makes sure I’m eating/drinking.
How do you prep the food before serving?
Pop a cube into a teacup and microwave it for 20ish seconds until it is thawed and slightly warm. Stir in breastmilk to thin it. Done! We choose not to heat baby’s food in any kind of plastic container due to the chemicals in some plastics. If baby is not interested in eating at the time, we will sit the teacup on the counter but not for too long. We would rather toss out the food that cost us pennies to make per portion than for any germs to grow or to microwave any food containing breastmilk. Just our personal preference!
Storing homemade baby food
We use simple ice cube trays to freeze the puréed food into portions. We have the cheapest trays and the cubes don’t pop out on their own. I use a grapefruit spoon to pry out the frozen cubes. I pop them into a freezer Ziploc bag, label it, and put it right back into the freezer. One great thing about using the trays is that you probably already have them in your home! I measured and learned the volume of each cube in our trays was 1 oz. I don’t know if that is standard for ice cube trays.
I hope this post about our experience with homemade baby food making over the past 2 months in helpful and inspiring. Would you do me a favor and share it with others?