Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baby Food

Before I had James, I heard people say that they made their own baby food. To be honest, I thought they were a little crazy. They talked and talked about steaming, pureeing, freezing, storing, etc. and it all sounded so difficult to me. And, frankly, it sounded difficult for no reason. Was store-bought baby food bad for their kids, because I eat store-bought food all the time and I'm doing fine?

Well, here 6-months later, I've learned a few things...

I want James to have pure and simple foods. I don't think store-bought baby food is bad for him, I just think it has lots of ingredients. Given that Brett had horrible allergies as a kid and that James has pretty severe eczema, his pediatrician and I suspect that he's going to be allergy-prone. I worry about giving him food with multiple ingredients, simply because if he has an allergic reaction, it will be that much harder to pinpoint what he reacted to -- was it the sweet potatoes or was it the food coloring?

It's amazingly easy to make your own baby food. I've been cutting corners all over the place, but that's made it completely do-able for me. So far, James has had rice cereal (store-bought, organic), peas, avocados, and green beans. We are starting spinach on Friday. For the peas, I bought frozen peas, boiled them, mixed in a little breastmilk, and pureed them. I put them into ice cube trays (which, by the way, is the perfect serving size for baby food) and froze them. A day later, pop them out and store them in the freezer in a plastic bad. To serve, microwave on defrost for 35 seconds and you're done. The avocado I handmashed. I also handmashed a banana that was on the verge of turning brown, so that's waiting in the freezer. I did spinach and green beans too. Again, I started with frozen veggies, microwaved, and then pureed with a hand blender. One frozen bag of green beans yielded 20 ice cube-sized servings.

Not only is making baby food easy, it seems easier to me than buying it. I feel like being able to make it myself gives me a lot more options. James' next food will probably depend on what fruits and veggies we have around the house.

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