Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Make Baby Food (And Why Baby Bedtime is Awesome)

To start off this post, I'd like to give 3 reasons why putting your kid to bed before 10pm is awesome:

1. My husband and I have a few hours of time for just us. Like, alone. Revolutionary.
2. I can go to bed at somewhat of a reasonable time. More sleep? Hallelujah!
3. I have time to write this post :)

If you haven't guessed it already, we've finally implemented a bedtime for Nicholas. I'm a little embarrassed to share that he is just now getting a bed time, since he's almost 9 months old. He's just so easy going that I haven't minded if he's awake. Yet as he's begun crawling (and teething) my days are far more busy with taking care of him, so I need some time to myself at night. It also gives my husband and I time where it's just us. Having a few hours a day where it's just us is good for our marriage. And good for the cleanliness of my house :) Nicholas has put up a bit of a fight to the early bedtime, but sorry kid, it's here to stay! Cuz it's 9pm and my hands have been free for AN HOUR! (Although I will sneak into your room to peek at you before I go to bed, since you're just so cute and I don't like being away from you for very long.)

Ok, onto the real reason I wrote this post: how to make baby food! I shared on Friday about my frustrations and successes in feeding Nicholas solid foods. Being in the kitchen usually makes me scratch my head in bewilderment, so making my own baby food seemed like too much. But it's actually quite a bit simpler than I thought! I'd barely call this a recipe, more of a "how-to", since it's so easy.

How to Make Sweet Potato Baby Food
This "recipe" can be adapted for many types of fruits & veggies, I just chose sweet potatoes. 

You'll need:
- A food processor, blender, or Magic Bullet
- Spatula
- Something to store the baby food in (I use Fresh N Freeze containers from Amazon and some Glad containers from Target.) They should be fridge & freezer friendly. I like to use 4oz containers - baby may only eat 2oz or so to begin with, but Nicholas is already demolishing 4oz. They are also great for holding snacks!
- A few sweet potatoes
- Water
- Oh, and a high chair to contain your wiggly one while he watches you make his food. He looks a little skeptical, but I promise he likes it :)

**The yield depends on how many sweet potatoes you use & how big they are, but you can generally get at least 2  4oz jars per potato.

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit
2. Wash sweet potatoes and poke each potato with a fork a few times
3. Place directly on the rack and bake for 30 to 60 minutes (until soft)
I didn't use tin foil, but you can wrap them in tin foil if you would like.
4. Let sweet potatoes cool to a temperature that you can safely handle them with bare hands
5. Peel sweet potatoes (skin comes off easily when you slice the potato open with a knife.)
6. Chop the remaining "meat" into small-ish sections and place into your food processor/blender

7. Depending on how thick or runny you want your puree to be, add a tiny bit of water. (Nicholas is old enough that he can handle thicker purees. I probably only added a couple TBSP of water. For younger babies you may want to have a runnier consistency. 
8. Process/blend until smoothly pureed. You may need to move bigger chunks around with your spatula a few times until everything is nice and smooth.

9. Once the potatoes are completely blended, scoop the puree into individual jars with a spatula or spoon. Leave a little bit of room at the top so that you're not having to smash on the lid.

10. Freeze or refrigerate.
11. Thaw the frozen food by setting it in a container of hot/warm water, or by putting it in the fridge the day before you want to use it. Most websites discourage microwaving food, because it can create "hot spots" in the food and also takes away from the nutritional value.

I also add a dash of cinnamon to the puree upon feeding Nicholas, and he really likes it!

The above "recipe" can easily be adapted for many types of fruits and veggies. Most of the time you can either bake or steam the fruits/veggies until they are soft enough to puree. Then just add water (if you need to), puree, and put into individual containers to store. See, it's not that complicated!

Wholesome Baby Food has been really helpful for me to know how long I can store food in the fridge and freezer. It also has TONS of recipes and helpful tips, as well as info on when to introduce what types of food.

Please remember that these are all just my suggestions and that I do not consider myself a health or nutrition expert. Talk to your pediatrician about any food questions you have!

If you have any questions, let me know! I'm still learning, but I'd love to lend you an ear. Making baby food has saved me money and has given me more control over what I feed my little guy. Happy baby food making!

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1 comment:

  1. good job!! My 11 month old passes out by 730 every night and my 3 year old has had a bedtime of 8pm since I can remember. I am wiped out at the end of the day!!


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