Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby Food Recipes

As many of you know, I make my own baby food because it's healthier (free of additives, preservatives, sugar, and sodium), cheaper, and....did I mention cheaper?? Here are a few of Sebastian's favs. I make everything with my magic bullet! However, a blender of food processor will work as well.

Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • water, as needed
  • Optional: cinnamon to taste.
  1. Microwave, boil or bake sweet potato until tender (I use one of those potato sleeves for the microwave). Let cool completely, or until cool enough to handle. You should be able to peel away the skin easily.
  2. Cut potato into chunks and place in magic bullet. Add a little bit of water (and cinnamon if you are adding) and blend, adding water as necessary to reach desired consistency for baby.
  3. Store refrigerated for a few days or you can place sweet potato into ice cube trays and freeze. Thaw at room temperature for individual servings!

Cinnamon is a great thing to add to baby food. Not only does it add a little bit of flavor (without making it too sweet), but cinnamon has NUMEROUS health benefits. Just google it and you'll find an exhaustive list of it's benefits.

Apple sauce

  • 3-6 apples (depending on size), cored & chopped, peels on*
  • Optional: cinnamon
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add chopped apples. Boil for 20-25 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. Place apples (and cinnamon) in a magic bullet and puree.
  3. Serve alone or mixed with Gerber Rice Cereal.

*I leave the peels on the apples (and pears) because a lot of the apple's nutrients (like many fruits and veggies) are found in it's peel. When boiled and pureed, baby won't even notice.

Pear sauce (EASY)

The great thing about pear sauce is that you don't have to cook them first (if you're using Barelett pears anyway) because they are softer.

  • 2 Bartlett pears, peels on
  • Optional: cinnamon
  1. Place all ingredients in magic bullet and puree. Again, I leave the skins on the pear for the nutrition benefits.
  2. Serve alone or mixed with Gerber Rice cereal.

Fruit Smoothies

  • Plain yogurt
  • fresh fruit of your choice (berries, banana, grapes, etc)
  1. Place in magic bullet and blend, adjusting amounts until desired consistency is reached. You can mix it with some Gerber Rice Cereal to give more flavor and spoonable consistency.

Apple banana sauce

  • Prepare apple sauce as instructed above and add 1 small banana (or half a large). Puree in magic bullet. Serve alone or mixed with Gerber Rice cereal.

Pureed veggies

  • Squash, carrots, etc
  1. Boil (or microwave) until tender (again I suggest leaving the skins on the squash).
  2. Puree in a magic bullet, adding water if needed.
    Tips: Try buying pre-cut steam-in-bag vegetables in the produce section of the supermarket (like Market Fresh brand) if you are pressed for time.

Mashed banana (easy!)

  1. Mash a banana with a fork. Serve alone of with Gerber Rice Cereal.

Banana "ice cream"

Sebastian loves this (and so do I!!)

  • Slice a banana into medallions and freeze it.
  • Place frozen banana in food processor and puree (scraping down sides as needed) until it reaches an ice cream like texture.

The next few are short cut (though still cheaper) recipes that Sebastian likes.

Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin is pretty much pure pumpkin. There is no added sodium and it is fiber packed. Sebastian loves it by itself.

Lima beans: Sebastian loves lima beans. If you are using canned vegetables/beans, ALWAYS rinse them thoroughly. You'll wash away a lot of the sodium and additives packed in the can to preserve them.

  • 1 can lima beans
  • water as needed
  1. Rinse lima beans thoroughly.
  2. Place in a magic bullet with some water and puree, adding water as needed until desired consistency is reached.

Navy beans (canned): Fiber packed. Just make sure they are rinsed thoroughly and prepare as listed above for Lima beans OR, when baby gets older, just let him eat them as finger food. Sebastian likes to do this.

Tips (quicklist)

  • Leave peels on for added vitamins and nutrition.
  • Rinse canned goods thoroughly if using.
  • Adding rice cereal to pureed fruits and veggies adds bulk (if your baby is trying to gain weight), flavor, and nutrition.
  • Most pureed fruits and veggies can be poured into ice trays and frozen, and then thawed one at a time at room temperature for individual servings. Place it in the diaper bag as you leave for your destination and then it'll be thawed by the time you need it hopefully!

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