Last year was an amazing adventure with our little man. Hubby and I had a lot to learn about parenting and we are definitely still learning. One of the things I am so grateful for is that I have been able to stay home with Sam and watch the amazing transformation he has gone through in his first year. I don’t think I could have tackled cloth-diapers or homemade baby food if I had to work on top of it. I applaud those who work and still keep on top of everything around the house because even though I stay home, I still feel like a hot mess most days. But we muddle through it.
When we decided to start Samuel on solids I began by giving him baby cereal and we stuck with that for nearly a month before moving on to his first vegetable: peas. I started very slow, a small amount with his breakfast, gradually increased the amount, and then added another small bowl with his supper bottle. We continued on from there, replacing the evening cereal with 2 ounces of vegetables.
Now, Sam has three full big-boy meals a day and we have weaned him off bottles/formula and replaced them with whole milk. He drinks wonderfully from sippy cups, straws, and even from regular cups, but I am so grateful for spill-proof cups!
It was fun playing around with different combinations and flavors when making Samuel’s baby food. I admit: I had some failures, but thankfully Sam is not a picky eater! My method was to prepare individual ingredients and combine them on a whim at mealtime. For example: peaches/applesauce, sweet potatoes/corn, chicken/spinach, beef/kale/potatoes.
When preparing his food, I cooked most of it through steaming and boiling, except for meat, of course. Once cooked, I used my food processor and blender to puree the food and then divided it among icecube trays (1 ounce servings) and a baby bullet silicone mold (2 ounce servings) to freeze.
At mealtime, I would pull out the combination of food I wanted and having it ready in small portion sizes was very handy.
Today, I will show you several of the baby foods I made so you can see how simple it is.
Please note: I am not a professional! Make sure you talk to your child’s doctor before introducing them to solids and be aware of possible allergies. I have always agreed with the advice to wait a few days in between giving your little one new foods to catch any allergic reactions.
First, lets start with the most basic purees that your baby will chow down on very happily!
In these photos I show a basic steamed carrot puree, but this method can be used with peas, green beans, and a variety of other healthy options.
Begin by cleaning and chopping a mess of carrots, or simply use a bag of frozen carrots as I have here. Steam or boil your vegetables until they are very tender.
Once the vegetables are very tender, scoop them into a blender or food processor. When your little one is ready for a variety of more textures you can mash the vegetables with a potato masher, and that will give them something to chew on. But when you are just starting solids, a very smooth puree is what is desired.
Puree the vegetables until smooth. Add some water to the mix if the puree is too thick. You know your baby best. If the puree is too thick: add some water. If it seems too thin, then you may consider adding baby cereal or even mixing it with a thicker puree when preparing a meal.
Don’t forget the greens! Here I have pureed sautéed spinach, which doesn’t look very appetizing but it’s packed full of nutrients. I loved this Baby Bullet freezer mold for freezing small 2 ounce portion sizes: just scoop, freeze, and pop out into a freezer bag for a quick meal.
Now, I would like to show how to easily prepare pureed peaches for the hungry little cutie in your life. It may be self-explanatory but look how gorgeous those peaches were! I made this puree in the late Summer when I was able to find beautiful fresh peaches at the local farmers market.
Give the peaches a good scrub with a soft cloth.
After the peaches are squeaky clean, score the skin into quarters. When they are steamed the skin will be much easier to remove. When I first introduced peaches to Samuel, I removed the skins, but you can decide what your little one is ready for.
After steaming for a few minutes, the skin should easily peel back. If your peaches are very ripe you shouldn’t need to steam them for long because they will blend easily.
I can’t stare at these photos enough… my mouth is watering!
Continue peeling the skin off of the peaches until they are all stripped clean.
Once peeled, split the peaches in half and remove the pit. You don’t want any surprises in the puree! Don’t rush into peeling and splitting your peaches unless you want to scald yourself with steaming peach juice… Yeah, I was racing to finish during Sam’s nap time and I paid for it dearly.
Place the peeled and pitted peaches (what alliteration!) into the blender and take another photo before you pulverize them.
I did not need any extra liquid to make this a smooth puree. I was very tempted to pour myself a hearty glass and enjoy a fresh peach smoothie, but I talked myself out of it when I saw how much Sam enjoyed it.
I had a plethora of peach puree! It froze well and was a perfect addition to Sam’s breakfast cereal.
Lastly, let me show you my method of preparing meat for puree. In these photos I chose ground turkey, but this method also works for ground beef, or ground chicken. If you choose to use meat that is not ground, be sure to check the temperature of the meat so that it is cooked all the way through.
When I made ground turkey I added a little oil to the skillet because the meat had so little fat in it. Cook the meat until completely cooked through.
Here is the meat pureed directly from the skillet. At this stage it was crumbly and dry so I chose to add a bit of water.
After drizzling in small amounts of water at a time I stopped at this consistency. Feel free to add more or less depending on where your little one is at with solids.
Be creative with the foods you introduce to your baby! Have fun with different combinations and textures. You will be surprised at what makes your kiddo lick their lips!