Friday, May 17, 2013

Baby Food Diaries

Let me start by stating the obvious: I'm not a cook.  I love to bake but even that fell by the wayside once we had Jude & Sloane.  Most nights we eat meals that take less than 10 minutes to prepare and at least once a week a drive-through window is involved.


I don't know if you want to call it irony or just being decent parents, but we want the absolute best food for Jude & Sloane.  For us, that means knowing exactly what is going into their chubby little bodies.  And when we found out making baby food can also be much, much cheaper... well that just solidified our decision.

(Sidenote: This does not mean they will only eat food made by us.  I realize it may not be practical in all situations.)

Making baby food is nothing new and I'm clearly not the first to do this.  What I prepared is the absolute easiest way to do it.  However, when you see where we started (text messages below) you'll understand why I'm so proud. A few friends have asked how I did it, what I used, etc., so I thought a short blog post would suffice.  I even managed to capture a few pictures!

So this is where we started yesterday evening:

Solid.  I wish I could say it was a joke.  Nope.  Not at all.  I'd heard that squash could be a bit difficult to manage so I asked Michael to slice it right down the middle before he left for work this morning.  He did, covered it in saran wrap, and stuck it back in the fridge.

There are many ways to prepare squash, but my choices were limited.  Since we don't have a steamer I decided to bake the squash, which I also read is the quickest way to prepare it and allows it to retain more of the nutrients/taste.

After preheating the oven to 400 degrees, I scooped out the seeds and stringy stuff, placed both meat-side down in a roasting pan and filled it with one inch of water.  Once the oven was ready I baked the squash for 45 minutes.

When it was done baking, I simply dug out the good stuff and threw it into our blender.

I added three ounces of breastmilk and pureed the heck out of it.

I poured the mixture into my Oxo Tot Baby Blocks, let them cool, and then stuck them in the freezer.  A lot of my friends use ice trays--we don't have any and the Oxo Tot Baby Blocks were given to us at a baby shower.

I did most of this during their morning nap.  I cooked the squash while they were awake and prepared the food while they were asleep.  Prep time took about 40 minutes and I'm sure that time will lessen with experience.

Also, they never show this part but I consider it HUGE.  Here's the clean-up.  Pretty easy:

One $4.50 butternut squash made 28 oz of baby food.  Not bad!  But the most important question of all, how did the kiddos like it?

Here's a before shot.  They were so excited.  :)

(By the way, if you're grossed out that I used the same spoon for both babies... they share everything.  Clothes, burp cloths, boobs, spoons.  Done.)

A friend sent me this link, which has tons of baby food recipes (some with 10+ ingredients--holy cow) and what I used as a reference for the squash.  I plan on using it as much as possible.

I'm really excited to make all sorts of food for them.  I hope they love everything else as much as they enjoyed the squash!  Both were sad when it was gone and Sloane kept trying to yank the spoon out of my hand so she could feed herself.

I was so happy with the results that I used the loose change in my diaper bag to run through the Taco Bell drive-through.  



Laura said...

I know I was intimidated by the idea of making baby food too, but once you do it, it's so easy! :) Also, one thing to consider once you get into fruits is to buy frozen! The best combo that my kids loved was peaches and mango. I would buy frozen peach and frozen mango chunks from Whole Foods, then just steam and puree. Great to mix in plain yogurt. Anyways, I'm sure you have LOTS of sources of info for this and don't need my two (or 25) cents worth! :)

Mindy Rives said...

I'm feeling pretty guilty after reading this as I let June gobbled down pizza and canned green beans for dinner tonight. Cut up really small, of course! Haha!! :)

Aubrey said...

Way to go, Meredith! It is sooooo much fun when the babes get their first tastes of solids. Ella and Kate both enjoy good food as much as Sloane does, and it warms my heart to share my love of food with my children. :)

The Echols Family said...

Great job, momma!! Aaaand you crack me up. Always enjoy reading your blog posts. :)

Leslie said...

So cute! I just can't get over their adorable rolls!

Trish said...

I never considered making baby food until Laura convinced me how easy it was. We never bought a jar of baby food--although I do LOVE those pouches that are so available now and Elle still eats them if we're on the run or she refuses everything else I give her and I want her to eat some veggies. I've heard moms say that their babies rejected the homemade food and that it was different for each of their babies so I'm just crossing my fingers that Baby Billie Jean is just as easy as Elle was.

Have fun!! Looks like those bebes are going to love solids!

Jax said...

Um, I kind of think you're supermom. So there's that. Seriously... way to GO! Very impressed! And two very satisfied babies, so it must have been good! The squash grocery texts would have totally been me. I have zero idea. I saw the photo and was like "oh...okay..that's what a squash looks like.." haha..

Shakshi S said...

There are many healthy premade options, including organic baby food. But homemade baby food is a popular option for parents. You can order baby food online.

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