Feb 19, 2010

Baby Food 101

What's the thing I like most about making my own baby food? It tastes good! If you have dared to taste any of the jarred baby food meat combos you know what I'm talking about. It kind of tastes like Campbell's soup pureed. Tastes like they mixed a little chicken with a little carrot and A LOT of salt. I don't even know if they put salt in it but they have to put something scary in it in order for it to have the shelf life that it does.

Here are a few of my favourite recipes right now:

FYI... I save myself time and effort by buying one of those pre-cooked rotisserie chickens at the grocery store. Obviously I throw the skin out and only use the best meat but for $8.99 you get a lot of great meat!

Chicken Stew
(YUMMO - seriously, I would eat this myself)
2 cups rotisserie chicken (or boiled chicken breast/legs whatever you want to use)
3/4 cup diced, peeled carrot
1 small onion, diced
1 small white potato, diced
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp vegetable oil

In medium saucepan, bring water to boil. Add carrots, onion and potato. Cook for 20 mins or until soft. Drain.
In food processor or blender, combine your boiled veggies, chicken, parsley, oil, and maybe half of your chicken stock. I never measure the liquids so honestly, you may need more or less than 1 cup of stock depending on the consistency you are going for. I start with a little and keep adding until I get a good consistency (right now Jane's transitioning to chunkier foods so I don't puree as much).
This recipe made two ice cube trays full. It's awesome. Jane eats 2 cubes almost every day for lunch.


2 cups diced, peeled carrots
2 cups sliced, pitted fresh apricots (or 16ish dried apricots)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (I used frozen - they are way cheaper)

In medium saucepan, boil your carrots until they are soft (15 minutes or so). Drain, reserving some of your boiling water to use when processing.
In separate bowl, pour boiled water over your dried apricots and let sit for 30 mins to reconstitute. If you are using fresh apricots, boil them in a saucepan for 5 minutes or so, until soft.
In food processor or blender, combine your cooked carrots, apricots and raspberries (thawed if you are using frozen). Use some of your reserved boiling water from your carrots to puree - adding a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
This recipe makes about 2 ice cube trays. I usually give Jane 2 cubes with lunch or dinner. It's tasty and sweet - good treat for "dessert".

Another tip for when you are first starting out making your own food...
Cook and freeze everything separately (e.g. carrots, sweet potato, chicken, pork, fruits, etc.). Then mix your cubes at mealtime. This provides a lot of variety in flavour and nutrients.

Here are some of my favourite combos:
2 cubes carrots with 1 cube of apples or apricot
2 cubes pork tenderloin with 1 cube prunes, apricot or apple
1 cube turkey with 1 cube apricot
1 cube carrots with 1 cube of sweet potato
1 cube of carrots, 1 cube butternut squash and 1 cube of apple

You can basically mix everything. This makes it easy for meats to mix them with different veggies.

Have fun!

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Ange said...

Okay...I think I'm now ready to give Chloe chicken after reading this! The thought has been making me a bit queasy to be honest but this looks good!

Kate said...

I totally agree with the above poster - I don't like the thought of giving Annika meat at all! Especially meat from a jar!

Thanks for the tips! :)

Sam and His Parents (Angie and Brian) said...

I'm proud to say that my son is 10.5 months old and has not taken a bite from a jar. The colors of homemade food look so much better than jarred food too.

We use http://wholesomebabyfood.com to find recipies and to help us determine when our son is old enough to eat certain foods (along with our pedi).

Jennifer said...

We just started table food :):):) It's SOOOOO much easier and better! Carter is just 9 months but refused to let me feed him anymore. I asked the pedi about table foods-chunky peices- and he said to go for it. So far, no choking. Which I was terrified of! Carter seems so much happier at meal time now too. It's a win-win!!!

Also Jen-I noticed they had the same toys too! =) They would make the cutest little couple!

Sara said...

I love this! My son is only 3 months, but my husband is the chef of our house and has always planned to make baby food. Thanks for the recipes!

sarahmarie0730 said...

Hi:) Nice to catch up with you. I haven't been online too much lately. I love that you shared some of your favorite recipes. I have been making Nelia's purees and it is a lot of fun. When did you start introducing meat?

**** April **** said...

Thanks for the ideas. I'm 7 months pregnant with boy #3 right now and I've decided to give it a go with making my own HEALTHY baby foods! :) I know that the body NEEDS only about 400-500 mg sodium per day and that most Americans get 10x that amount so I can't imagine that baby food (sadly enough) would be any different. Thanks for the ideas.

My Life As Mom said...

My son is almost 3.5 months old and will be starting solids in may. I love the idea of making his food and freezing it. I'm definitely going to try your recipe! Thanks!