by Allison Preiss, The Life of a Novice
When I was pregnant with my son, I vividly recall someone commenting one day on how they could see me making my own baby food. I guess, up until then, I hadn’t given much thought to the topic, but from that moment forward, it wasn’t even a question. I knew I could do it – I knew I wanted to do it – So I did! And never looked back!
I think many mom’s in today’s society look for convenience in everything they do. And why shouldn’t we? Being a mom is a full time job x 10 so if there is an easier way to accomplish something, why not go that route?
Purchased premade baby food is a huge convenience for busy moms. But somewhere in the back of mom’s minds, I am willing to bet they have wondered how healthy that food is for their precious bundle. We know prepackaged foods aren’t good for us, so why would it be any different for baby?
The good news is, with a little planning and 5 extra minutes, you can have homemade baby food stocked and ready for your wee one.
Once you decide your little one is ready for some solids, homemade purees couldn’t be easier. With my son, each time a new food was introduced, we only fed that same food for the following 3 days or so to ensure there were no allergic reactions. (And, he was still breast fed as well). One of the first purees I made for him was banana. Bananas have amylase, an enzyme which helps aid digestion. I sautéed a ripe banana in some pasture-fed butter and then whizzed it in my food processor with some milk to bring it to a smooth enough consistency for him. I used stored breast milk. If you use formula for your baby, that would work just fine too!
Because we eat seasonally and locally as much as possible, and my son started purees in the fall, we did a lot of pumpkins and squashes. I would halve them, remove the seeds, place them sliced side down on a baking sheet lined with foil and then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Once they cooled, I would peel the skins off and then puree them in the food processor. Pumpkins tend to have high water content, so after I pureed them, I would let the puree drain over a tea towel for a little while.
Once you have pureed your squashes, divide them up into containers and store in the fridge or freezer. Don’t be afraid to introduce your baby to mild spices too! Sometimes I would dress the pumpkin puree up with some cinnamon and it would be like baby’s own personal pumpkin pie! Other squashes my little man enjoyed were Acorn and Butternut.
The possibilities for purees are endless. Any fruit or veggie works and once you know which settle well with your little one, you can mix and match to combine flavors. Aside from bananas, I found most everything froze well so you can easily store a week or two of meals for baby in your freezer and pull out as needed. It doesn’t get much easier than that – especially when it offers mamas the piece of a mind that they are feeding their babes healthy, nutritious food with no additives or preservatives!
Allison Preiss is a working mom, wife, apple picker & horse lover. Outside of her day job, Allison and her husband run a small orchard on their farm, Apolloson Acres. Allison has a true passion for horses; 4 rescued horses currently reside on the farm. She is also an advocate of local, real food, cooking from scratch, sustainability and being green. She blogs about all the antics that come with her everyday life over at The Life of a Novice.