Melissa's Cuisine: Homemade Baby Food: Vegetables

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Homemade Baby Food: Vegetables

Making baby food is fun for both mom and baby! It's surprisingly simple, and a good way to feed your baby wholesome foods.  This post is the second in my Homemade Baby Food series and focuses on vegetables.
Melissa's Cuisine:  Homemade Baby Food: Vegetables
My friends told me that babies just keep getting better; every stage is more exciting than the previous.  At first I didn't think that was true, what could be better than a snuggly newborn baby?  But then Summer became more alert, she started smiling at me, she learned how to roll over and how to sit up.  Then I realized, it was true, she just keeps getting better!

We're in my favorite stage so far.  Yes, it's even better than all those newborn snuggles!  Summer is sitting up, playing on her own, interacting with us, and eating meals with us.  I really feel like we're able to be more of a family now because we are able to eat together, instead of having our separate meal times.  Dinner is no longer interrupted by a hunger or tired baby.  Instead, we put Summer in her high-chair and she eats at the same time we do. 

Last week I showed you some of the basics of homemade baby food.  You'll want to check out that post to see what equipment I use for baby food preparation and storage.  I mentioned that most people recommend starting your baby on pureed vegetables before fruits.  I think this is a great idea, so the baby doesn't become so accustomed to the sweetness of fruits that they reject vegetables.  In the interest of full disclosure, we started Summer on fruits first (due to personal needs).  We have noticed that she is not a fan of vegetables.  However, because I think it is important for her to eat vegetables too, I have started mixing a cube of bananas in with her vegetables.  It helps to disguise the taste, and gets her to eat them!
Melissa's Cuisine:  Homemade Baby Food: Vegetables
Carrots and Avocados

Preparing food for your baby is easier than you might think.  In fact, you can often take a serving of what you're making and puree it for your baby.  I like to make food in advance for Summer.  I'll typically spend about an hour on a weekend preparing vegetables and fruit for the coming week.  I freeze the purees in a variety of containers, some for on the go, and some for at home.  If I freeze the food in an ice cube tray, after the food has frozen, I'll pop it out of the tray and put them in freezer bags.  Then I label the bag with the name of the food and the date it was prepared.

As far as cooking the food goes, choose a method that works best for you.  If you typically steam your vegetables, steam your baby's.  If you prefer to cook them in the microwave or on the stove top, go for it!  You will want to cook the vegetables until they are extremely soft (probably softer than how you might eat them.)  After the vegetables have cooked, allow them to cool before transferring them to your food processor or blender. Puree the vegetables until smooth.  Most vegetables have enough water in them that you won't need to add any, however I have found that carrots are easier to puree if you add a small amount of water.

After the food has been pureed, scoop it into the storage container of your choice.  Food can be stored in the fridge for 2 days, any longer and you should freeze it.  Freeze or refrigerate your food.  When you are ready to serve frozen food, remove it from the freezer and place in a bowl.  Allow it to thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or thaw in the microwave if necessary.  Most babies will eat food at room temperature, but feel free to heat it up if you want.  Just be sure to check the temperature to make sure it is safe before feeding it to your baby!  If the puree is too thick you can thin it out with a bit of water, prepared formula, or breastmilk.  You can also mix vegetables and fruits to come up with flavors your baby loves!

Below I have shared some of the vegetables I have made for Summer.  These foods are recommended as the first foods to try with a baby aged 6 months or older.  Come back next week to read about making fruit for your baby!
Melissa's Cuisine:  Homemade Baby Food: Vegetables
Some of my favorite storage containers:  Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice TraysFresh Baby So Easy Baby Food and Breast Milk Trays and OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Storage Containers



Sweet Potatoes

1 sweet potato yields approximately 8 blocks of baby food

Cook sweet potato until soft.  Cut in half and remove potato from the skin.  Puree in the blender or food processor.

Peas

1 cup of frozen peas yields approximately 8 blocks of baby food

Cook peas until soft.  Puree in the blender or food processor.

Carrots

1 cup of sliced carrots yields approximately 10 blocks of baby food

Cut carrots into coins.  Cook until soft.  Puree in the blender or food processor.  Add water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.

Beans

1 cup of beans yields approximately 8 blocks of baby food

If you're using fresh beans, cut the beans into small pieces.  Cook beans until soft.  Puree in the blender or food processor.

Squash

Cook squash until soft.  Cut into cubes.  Puree in the blender or food processor.

This post includes affiliate links.

Homemade Baby Food Series
The Basics
Fruits


23 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your homemade baby food on Saturday Dishes. I pinned it!
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  2. I really recommend using whole carrots instead of baby carrots, because baby carrots are just whole ones cut into little nubbins =P Buying them whole and peeling them yourself will save more money, and you can buy them organic pretty cheap too ($4 for a whole bag of them)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either one would work! I had an overabundance of baby carrots in the house that I knew my husband and I wouldn't be able to eat in time, so I used those for baby food.

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