3.12.2013

Keeping Brooks fat: Making bulk {organic} baby food

In trying to keep Brooks on our family's clean eating path, I have made all his baby food. At around 6 months he started eating solids, usually simple, watery purees of one fruit or vegetable. He loved broccoli, and sweet potato anything remains his favorite flavor. He is now 9.5 months, so we have moved to more complex flavor combinations with more texture. To make his food, I'll use an afternoon to peel, dice, steam and mix everything. Then I can freeze it for about a months worth of meals. 
My grocery list for this batch included the following:
3/4 cup quinoa
1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
8 carrots
12 oz bag of frozen blueberries
10 oz bag of frozen peas
1/2 lb broccoli
3 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
1 mango
2 pears
3 apples
2 sweet potatoes
3 bananas

Total cost: $24.67
Notes: 
*I purchased all organic produce, and local grown whenever possible.
*If you have no other use for kale, and can only buy it by larger amounts, just use spinach in its place. Or vice versa.
*Babies will seriously eat anything. Can't find a mango? Use a peach. Hate peas? Use asparagus. Brown rice can be substituted for quinoa.
*But DO pay attention to not use any hi-risk foods, such as honey, peanut butter, citrus, corn, raspberries.

 To make and store the baby food, I use the Baby Bullet system. Or just use your regular blender. I like the storage that comes with the Baby Bullet, which has a freezer tray to freeze 6 servings, as well as 6 serving containers. There are lots of other storage options available, and ice cube trays work well too. All the extra purees get stored in BPA free Ziploc bags until I'm ready to use them.

Start by prepping all your ingredients. Here is how each needs to be prepared:
Quinoa: Add quinoa and 1 cup water to small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
Kale and/or spinach: toss in a large skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until wilted
Carrots, broccoli, zucchini, squash, pears, apples, sweet potatoes: Peel the sweet potatoes, & peel and core the apples and pears. Chop everything into 1-2" pieces. These all need to be steamed or boiled. I don't have a steamer, so I just throw it in a pan with enough water to cover it and let it cook until soft. I did the apples and pears together, and the carrots, zucchini, and squash together. 
Peas: defrost according to package directions.
Mango and bananas: Peel and dice.


Once everything is ready to go, it's time to start creating some interesting mixes. You can adjust flavors to your babies preferences. If he favors sweeter taste, always include a fruit with your veggie mixes. Apple works well to sweeten up any green mixes.

Here are the flavor combinations I did:
Quinoa+Banana+Pear
1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 banana, 1/2 pear
Sweet Potato+Zucchini+Squash+Quinoa
1/3 sweet potato, 1/3 zucchini, 1/2 squash, 1/2 cup quinoa
Broccoli+Apple+Kale
all broccoli, 1/3 apple, all kale
Blueberry+Quinoa
1/2 blueberries, 1/2 cup quinoa
Carrot+Blueberry
1/2 carrot, 1/2 blueberry
Zucchini+Banana
1/3 zucchini, 1/2 banana
Zucchini+Squash+Pear
1/3 zucchini, 1/2 squash, 1/3 pear
Apple+Carrot
1/3 apple, 1/2 carrot
Spinach+Pea+Mango
all spinach, 1/2 pea, all mango
Sweet Potato+Apple
1/2 sweet potato, 1/3 apple
Quinoa+Pea+Pear+Sweet Potato
1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 pea, 1/3 pear, 1/3 sweet potato

Measurements are by cooked and diced ingredient, so 1/2 pear equals half of my cooked chopped pears, not half of a pear. I hope that makes sense...

I blend everything as is first, then add small amounts of water as necessary until it gets to a good consistency. Depending on your child's age and how good they have gotten at mashing food with their gums, you can have a smooth yogurty consistency, or a mix with a little chunkiness.

Put your mixes in your storage containers, or in Ziploc bags. Lay the bags flat until frozen for easier storage. When I'm ready to use them, I just let them defrost in the fridge, cut off a corner, and squeeze the contents into my baby bullet containers.

And that's how I make a months worth of organic baby food in about an hour, for less than $25


Baby approved.

7 comments:

Julia Kendrick said...

Thanks so much for posting this! My babies are older but I sent it to a friend who loves making her own baby food. I hope you have a great day! Julia @ www.juliakendrick.com

Mums make lists said...

Brilliant post - would love it if you would link up at the Friday Baby Shower a linky party for all things pregnancy and new baby.

It goes live at 7pm Thursday.

http://mumsmakelists.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/The%20Friday%20Baby%20Shower

Confession Master said...

This is so great! I made baby food for my first son (now 16 months) and I will be making it for my second son due in May! I appreciate this post and the great tips. You put a LOT of work into this!
Lydia
Five4FiveMeals.com

Sarah Avila said...

I’d love for you to join in the link-up that I host on my blog. It’s called My Pregnancy Journal and it’s for all posts related to pregnancy, babies, and motherhood. Link up birth stories, baby milestones, pregnancy updates, or tips and advice.
Plus, it’s a great place to get and give encouragement and prayer during this season of life.
Blessings!
http://www.myjoyfilledlife.com/search/label/My%20Pregnancy%20Journal%20Link-Up

Karen Marquick said...

Love the idea of freezing the food in zip bags. I used to use ice cube trays in the beginning which was fine, but fitting freezer tubs into the freezer was always a struggle when I did bulk cooking x

meandmr.com said...

Newest follower here! I found you though the blog hop. You have a wonderful blog, I can't wait to read more. You can find me at meandmr.com

-Melanie @meandmr.com

Leah said...

That picture of all the food on the stove is one of those pictures you must look at and think, "Yeah, I'm supermom!" Congrats on stocking your freezer for your little one.
I didn't get to make baby food with my first because I got pregnant with the second and was on bed rest for the first trimester. So, I am hoping to give this a try with the youngest. Maybe I shouldn't say anything just yet, my ovaries might hear.
Leah @ simplehomeblessing.com