Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making Baby Food...the what and how

Making baby food for the Nugster has been fun and easy.  At almost 8 months old, he has enjoyed rice, apples, oatmeal, avocado, bananas, squash, sweet potato, mango, peaches, carrots, blueberries, cauliflower, egg yolk, and chicken!  Creating "meals" for Silas is easy, since so many of the foods he enjoys blend well together.

There are a ton of websites that have lots of great advice and recipes for families who want to make their own baby food.  I've found Maggie over at Wholesomebabyfood to be most helpful!  She's done or found the research on all matters relating to baby food, and her recipes and allergy sections are very informative.

What: A quick guide based on Nugster's solid food adventures

I refer to the dirty dozen chart when shopping for produce. 

We opted to start Silas on veggies first, then fruit, and lastly grains and protein.  Because babies have such delicate systems, I follow the 4 day wait rule:
     Wait at least 4 days before introducing a new food.  
This way, if Nug has an allergic reaction, we can easily identify the trigger food.  I also keep a 3 day supply of baby food in the fridge and freeze the rest.  When I use up a container, I move another out of the freezer into the fridge. 

Early foods (4-6 months)

Apples: applesauce, organic, bought at Costco for $2.50/47 oz. Nug also enjoys flavored applesauce, such as mango
Avocado: smashed and fed with spoon or feeder (we prefer the silicone feeder vs the mesh-it doubles as a teether-we fill it with crushed ice.)

Also, so easy to clean!

For finger food, at around 6 months, I began slicing fresh avocado and then placing the slices on parchment paper to freeze.  Once frozen, I divided the slices into several plastic containers.  The avocado slices defrost very quickly, so they make a great on-the-go snack!
Banana: organic, mashed, close to brown for easy digestion
Mango: smashed/strained
Rice: cooked on stovetop (steamed or boiled), pureed
Squash: halved, seeded, baked in water flesh side down, pureed with water
Sweet potato: organic, boiled, mashed, pureed with water

6-7 months:

Blueberries: organic, defrosted in water (I buy frozen, only takes a few minutes), smooshed, fingerfood. Nugster has perfected this one, but still ends up pretty purple by the end!
Mmmm...blueberries are the best!
Carrots: (I buy a huge bag of baby carrots) steamed, pureed with water, sometimes applesauce
Mango: defrosted in fridge (I buy frozen organic mango chunks) and diced as finger food.
Cauliflower: steamed, pureed with water 
Rice: shortgrain, cooked on stovetop (steamed or boiled), sometimes pureed (sometimes not, since Nug enjoys eating rice with his hands)
Oatmeal: no need to buy "baby oats"-simply grind regular oatmeal until "powdery" (food processor or baby bullet does this in about 10 seconds) then add to boiling water. You can also make a large batch ahead of time and portion it out for meals.
Peaches: organic, baked (yuuum), skin removed, pureed
Egg yolk: organic, cooked on stovetop 
*Be sure to separate the egg! Egg whites contain proteins that can be highly allergenic! 
Chicken: organic, breast meat, baked with a small amount of oil (coconut oil works for Nugster...stuff is great for everything from diaper rash to cooking, and is the carrier oil for his vitamins), diced, pureed with juices from baking.

What is/was your plan for introducing solids to your little one?  What is their favorite food?

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