When L began eating solids back in March we loosely followed the Baby-Led Weaning approach. I was surprised at how well he did feeding himself cute pieces of super soft foods. So, honestly we haven’t had a huge need for homemade baby food purees, like we did when M was a baby. I am really loving the ease of simply feeding L a bit of what we are eating or leftovers from another meal, like sweet potatoes.
L’s favorite foods are sweet potato, grapes (quartered), banana (which he calls “beneh”), oatmeal, eggs, all berries, stone fruits (nectarines, peaches, plums, cherries), sautéed greens (kale, spinach, collards, swiss chard), zucchini, carrot apple zucchini muffins and gluten-free toast spread with coconut oil. He’s started eating around avocado (which he used to love) and will spit out foods when he sees something else on his tray that he would prefer to eat.
When we first started solids, I spent one afternoon making my own homemade smoothie packs for easy grab and go meals when we’re running out the door, grandma’s house, going out to eat or for those nights when the meal that I’ve prepared isn’t exactly baby friendly and we are short on leftovers. I loosely based my recipes on this post. We’ve since run out of that big batch of pouches and it’s time to restock my freezer!
To quickly thaw frozen smoothies simply run them under warm water and gently break up the icy clumps. If you place the baby food in the fridge overnight it should be thawed by mid-morning. Please do not microwave baby’s food to warm/thaw. You can create hot spots and will run the risk of burning your baby’s mouth. Also, I would highly recommend that everyone attempt to wean themselves from the microwave, it’s not good for you or your health.
Our summer has been crazy busy so far and I have had to break down and buy store bought organic smoothies pouches – we like the 4 pack “cases” by Plum Organics, which have thankfully been on sale at Target quite often . However, at close to $2 per pouch they are overpriced, heavy on fruit, light on veggies, lack caloric density and don’t offer healthy fats.
At almost 11 months old, L is eating 98% table food; however, we do supplement some lunches with pouches and I would prefer they be uber nutritious and filling. Also, M still enjoys smoothie packs as an occasional snack (his favorite is broccoli apple kale) and I’m sure we will do the same with L as he begins enjoying snacks, as well.
In addition to smoothie packs, we keep organic bananas, organic greens puffs and Little Ducks freeze dried organic fruit on hand for quick grab and go foods or for the boys to much on while I prep lunch or dinner.
Homemade baby food definitely saves money while offering superior nutrition. This is obvious by simply looking at the brilliant colors of homemade food vs. the brownish mush that comes out of a store bought smoothie. Store-bought ain’t got nothin’ on that!
Also when making homemade you can control the ingredients and ratio of veggies to fruit. No more additives like lemon juice and citric acid (which can be GMO). As your baby ages you can add less water during the blending process resulting in a thicker consistency and higher caloric density.
Plus, it’s fun to dote on your baby by spending some quality time making love in the kitchen just for him or her. 🙂
Click here for an easy to follow, step by step process to making a big batch of 60 four ounce smoothies. This should easily last 2 months with a new eater (5-7 months old) and one month for a baby who is starting to enjoy finger foods along with pureed foods (8+ months). Please do not be overwhelmed by the lengthy list of instructions, it is not difficult or overly time consuming to make your own baby food. I simply wanted to ensure that I seamlessly laid out the entire process for you so that your time in the kitchen would be efficient, fun and easy. Also, be sure to check out the tips and tricks at the bottom of the post for ways to save additional time and money.
Please remember to check with your baby’s doctor before starting solids, as there are several milestones your baby must hit before being ready to enjoy more than milk.