My journey to making homemade baby food.
My 9-month old daughter, first started on solid foods at 4 months. She was strong, could hold her head up well and our pediatrician gave us the all clear. Of course, we started simple. Single vegetables or fruits, each for 3 days by themselves before adding another, just to make sure she wasn’t allergic.
I started her out on store-bought food, thinking that was what most working mothers do, right? She was fine with the sweet potatoes and peas…but when I started to add in other foods, she would stick her nose up in the air. So I finally tasted some.
Let me tell you, as soon as I did, I think I ran right out to the store, grabbed fresh sweet potatoes, peas and apples and I spent about an hour, peeling, cooking, pureeing and freezing. If I had tasted that stuff from the beginning, we would’ve been doing that from the get-go. And rest assured, I had gotten “the good stuff” for my daughter. 100% organic, highly rated on a lot of websites. But it didn’t taste remotely like the vegetable it claimed to be. No wonder she was not digging it.
I remember, before we even started her on solids, my father-in-law asked if I was going to make her food. I think I looked at him with a shocked face and my mother-in-law quickly stepped in to explain that I have a full time job and wouldn’t have time for that. Thanks mom, for coming to my defense. I, of course, agreed with her at the time, but looking back I think I was selling myself, and my daughter, short.
Because here I was making all of her food. And I was loving it. I didn’t think there was any possible way I would have time to make her homemade food. But honestly, it really wasn’t that difficult. It didn’t take more than an hour a week really. So after Saturday morning breakfast I would break out the Vitamix and the fresh produce and go to work.
So after Saturday morning breakfast I would break out the Vitamix and the fresh produce and go to work.
Don’t get me wrong. If you are buying pre-packaged food, I’m not by ANY means knocking you. We all need to do what’s best & right for our families. I’m just saying, if you’re not making homemade baby food because you think you won’t have time or can’t handle it, please give it a try. You never know until you just do it.
I for one was having a ton of fun. And after a couple of months of single foods, I began to get more adventurous. Our pediatrician gave us the okay to add meat and that’s when I really went bazonkers! I started with chicken and turkey. From what I was reading that was what other mom’s did and recommended. And indeed, my little girl loved them.
In addition to her reactions of joy, her teachers at day care would constantly ask me what was in the food because it smelled so good. They would pay me compliments regularly like “you’re the only mom who makes homemade baby food” and “all the other baby’s want Lily’s food because it smells so great.” All things that made my head swell just enough that pride started peeking out.
But I kept going. In fact, I was continuing with a vengeance. My daughter was definitely going to be the child who ate all sorts of veggies and foods because I started her off on the right foot early. I began searching out more new recipe ideas online. And I started to try to add things like salmon, ground beef, kale, broccoli.
My daughter was definitely going to be the child who ate all sorts of veggies and foods because I started her off on the right foot early.
I was so proud of the new recipes I was trying, the great things that my daughter was eating and the kind praise others were giving me. And that’s when she put her foot down. She hit a picky phase. She refused to eat a lot of the more complex recipes I was making and I crashed down to earth on my prideful booty.
So, needless to say, mommy is back to making all of her favorites. I’m not saying I won’t try more adventurous stuff down the road. But I’m going to let her revel in her favorites for now and be satisfied that she likes some pretty awesome veggies and fruits. She and I had a long discussion, albeit one-sided, and I’ve made her promise to keep me in check from here on out. (smile) After all, she’s happy and healthy…what more could a mom could want?
Here are a couple of favorite homemade baby food recipes:
Turkey & Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
5 oz of turkey
1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
Peel & dice your sweet potatoes and pear. Place in a pot on the stove with about ¾ C of water. Dice your turkey and place in the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
When turkey is cooked and sweet potatoes are soft, place in a blender, add the cinnamon and blend to desired consistency.
Hearty Chicken Stew
1 ½ C Butternut Squash (about half of a medium squash)
5 oz chicken
½ C green peas
8 oz chicken broth (sodium free)
1 apple (optional…it’s good with or without it)
Peel & dice your butternut squash and apple (if you’re using it). Dice your chicken. Place everything in a pot on the stove, cover and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
When chicken is cooked and butternut squash is soft, place in a blender and blend to desired consistency.
- I will double these recipes typically. Because I’m freezing her food and using on demand, a doubled batch of both of the above recipes can last me a couple of weeks.
- You can certainly freeze in ice cube trays. Silicone works best. But I happened to have silicone muffin pans on hand, so that’s what I used. At first I’d only fill them halfway, but at 9 months I fill them all the way up for one serving for her.
- It’s easier to peel the butternut squash if you put the whole thing in the microwave for 2-3 minutes before hand. It softens the skin just enough so you can use a peeler. I would also recommend cutting off the very top and bottom to create flat surfaces and cutting it in half (just at where the squash gets smaller) to have two shorter pieces to manage while peeling. You will want to clean out the innards of the bottom half (kind of like a pumpkin) before dicing.
- If you’re blender needs more liquid to blend, add some a little at a time. You want to be careful not to pour too much water in at once and get left with soup. But, at the same time, freezing will dry the food out slightly, so a tiny bit of extra liquid won’t hurt. If you find your food too dry when you take it out of the freezer, don’t worry. Just add a few drops of water until it is reconstituted again.
Check out more homemade baby food recipes from Really Mommy.