Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's Cookin'

Making my own baby food was something that I scoffed at pre-baby. I mean, who has time for that, right? When so many companies make decent food, even organic selections, why take the time out of your day to do your own cooking? Especially for a wee one that won't even thank you for your efforts?

Well, like a lot of my "pre-baby thoughts," I was clueless. I just didn't realize how expensive those little containers of pre-made food were and how much money I could save by making my own. I also didn't realize that I would have this strange "urge" to make food for Will. I thought it would be difficult, but it's not, especially once you get going on it and make a few batches to store in the freezer.

See, when I got this from my MIL three years ago, I used it once, maybe twice, to mix up a too-watery blended drink. I used it another couple of times to make salsa. However, it is now used several times a day to make Will's meals. It is so easy, blendsthe foods up nicely, and even comes with several lids so that I can save leftovers. I do make batches to freeze ahead or take on the road. I will admit that I keep a stash of the store-bought foods for taking with us in the diaper bag or if I am too rushed to make a meal. However, it really is pretty easy to do and for some reason, I find it very comforting to "make" his meals.

So, in case you are like me and thinking about making your own foods for your baby, here is a sample menu of our days*. Also, if you do serve pre-made foods, please don't think I am judging that choice. That's all I used in the beginning, but my Little Man eats A. LOT. And we are now on a budget.

One ripe banana, splash of prune or unsweetened pear juice.
Blend together until smooth and then add rice cereal until thickened to desired consistency.

Five steamed baby carrots**, splash of filtered water.
Blend together until smooth and then add rice cereal until thickened to desired consistency.
1/8 c. cooked green beans or peas, splash of filtered water.
Blend together until smooth and then add rice cereal until thickened to desired consistency.

1/4 c. rice cereal mixed with prune or pear juice (the opposite of whatever he had for breakfast)
then the opposite veggie of what he had for lunch (not mixed with rice cereal)

Also, these are his current favorites. He usually has them while I make his dinner or as a snack - the first time he tried it, he did cough a bit as he got used to swallowing the new consistency, but after a couple of tries, he was a pro. He also likes a piece of steamed (and cooled) apple or pear in one of these as a snack or to keep himself busy while we eat. We are also working on these, but they tend to frustrate him.

Will continues to be a wonderful eater and enjoys all of his meals. Sometimes, I wonder if we are feeding him too much, but he doesn't seem overweight and does seem very content. His six month Well Baby check is next week, so we'll see where he is on his weight.

*Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor nor a dietician. These are ingredients and portions that we discussed with our doctor, for our baby. Use this as a guide only and e-mail me if you have any questions.
**Also, please note that due to soil conditions which may vary in your area of the country, it is recommended that you not make your own carrots unless you use organic carrots that are also grown in low nitrate soil.


...The Obnoxious SAHM said...

I think that is so cool.

Tracy said...

Thanks for the post, Katie. I've been toying with making my own baby food, and just haven't gotten around to it (besides I stocked up on organic baby food on sale, so haven't needed to, yet...) I may want some more tips once I get to that point...

How you doing on your big decision???


Joy said...

You seriously rock! I never had a food processor until recently. So maybe I'll make baby food this next time around.

Thankfully Abby didn't even like baby food. She skipped right onto to regular food near her first birthday, so I didn't have to spend any money on baby food that year.

Mel said...

This is a great post, thank you for putting it out there. I have been thinking about this, although I know I am a ways off, but I like hearing about it because it gets my noodle cookin'.
You have fallen in to motherhood so beautifully, you really have!

K @ ourboxofrain said...

Thanks for posting your sample menu -- we've been trying to collect them to get a sense of what others do in that respect.

We just started solids last week and weren't especially successful until today when I decided to switch from breakfast to lunch (we're doing one meal a day to start), since he's only awake for an hour and a half before he wants his morning nap, which didn't leave enough time for nursing and solids before he got sleepy (or solids were too close to nursing and he wasn't hungry). Today, he tried butternut squash (I made a batch of squash and a batch of sweet potato last week and froze both in ice cube trays) with his rice cereal and seemed at least indifferent (he really likes the cereal, so I think the squash was more surprising than anything else). I hope he comes to like food as much as Will!