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Baby Food Round 2: Homemade Style

Heya.

It’s been a while. I know.

My head is spinning about the speed with which time is flying.

How is it already JULY??? Didn’t it JUST get warm outside? (it’s the truth here in Colorado anyway). Will summer be over before I even know it or will we get a nice Looonnnnggg transition in to Fall?

Speaking of time – I did a round 2 of baby food making quite some time ago and never shared.

I even considered foregoing the sharing, but then figured that if this can encourage even one person who’s on the fence about tackling baby food homemade style, it’s worth my time in sharing.

I said it before and I will say it again – I have NOTHING against the store bought variety.

Heck, my little dude has devoured LOTS of the store bought stuff.

There’s a certain convenience with buying at the store and popping the top for feeding. And there’s a certain warmness of heart <for me anyway> with making food at home.

So I do both!

And making baby food at home really isn’t all that time consuming a process if you plan and prep and have the right equipment.

Round 2 of baby food making included avocado, peas, mango and quinoa.

That’s right! Quinoa!

I sought making Round 2 as easy as possible and purchased frozen, organic mango and peas. I struggle to get much for my effort when it comes time to cutting up a fresh mango (and I’ve watched countless YouTube tutorials – I’m mango cutting challenged regardless), and it would take a month of Sundays to pluck enough of those little green gems (i.e. peas) from their pods to make it worth my while.

The texture of both the peas and quinoa were a little for my dude to get used to, but once he did he couldn’t get enough. This is true of many homemade varieties compared to what you buy at the store.

I don’t know what sort of special magic goes into making ALL of the store bought varieties smooth as pudding but it’s unnecessary and impossible accomplish (in my experience) at home.

My suggestion: mix them in with something else your kiddo already likes and warm them up to the texture gradually.

I think this makes sense anyway for the transition to full-on table food.

Soooo….lets get to it!

Ready? Set. Baby Food!

Homemade Baby Food: Avocado, Peas, Mango & Quinoa

Four more easy homemade baby food recipes to help stock your freezer, and fill the little babe's belly.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baby Food
Servings: 4 varieties

Ingredients

  • Organic Avocados
  • Frozen Organic Peas
  • Frozen Organic Mango
  • Organic Quinoa

Instructions

  • Avocados: Peel and remove pit from each avocado. Scoop insides into food processor and process until smooth. Add water, breast milk or formula to adjust thickness and consistency.
  • Mango: Thaw in fridge. Pour into food procesor and process until smooth. Water, breast milk or formula are not likely needed for this one, but can be added if you wish to thin out the final product.
  • Peas: Thaw in fridge. Pour into food procesor and process until smooth. Add water, breast milk or formula to adjust thickness and consistency.
  • Quinoa: cook desired amount according to package directions (after rinsing the dry product well). Allow to cool, then process in food processor until smooth. A good amount of water, breast milk or formula will be needed to ensure smoothness and to avoid the final product being sticky.

Notes

Amounts are not indicated in this recipe because it’s really up to you how much of each you want to make.
If it’s a first time you may opt for smaller amounts – just in case you can’t convince your little one of the yummy-ness. Then, in subsequent rounds of baby food making, fix a larger batch.
Each item is finished in the same way:
  • pack into your choice of freezer storage (I use small baby food containers)
  • tuck into freezer 
  • thaw in fridge prior to use
  • use within 3-5 days after thawing
 

Homemade Baby Food Part 1

Our little dude is growing like a weed and nearly a month ago, at his four month appointment with the pediatrician, she advised getting started with solids.

There are mixed opinions among professionals about the ‘right’ time to start solids. Ours is in the “The Sooner, The Better” camp, explaining that studies are suggesting food allergies may be preventable if we start introducing our little ones to solids sooner.

I was given 3 rules with introducing foods:
1. no honey until age 1
2. don’t let him choke
3. introduce eggs before peanut butter (but don’t wait until age 1)

We didn’t waste any time and introduced rice cereal that night.

He LOVED it!

Now that we are through a handful of foods, ruling out any reactions, I’ve started making my own.

Now, hear me, making homemade baby food or choosing to purchase at the store are both equally great options. Not everyone has the time, resources, or desire to tackle this task at home. I will have a small supply of store bought in our cupboard in addition to what I make in my own kitchen. And really, I’m more an advocate for “Feed The Baby” than specialized rules for how and what you should feed the baby.

I’ve chosen the homemade route simply because I always imagined that I would, because it’s more cost effective (my cost for this first round was 17 cents per oz for organic baby food compared to about 32 cents per oz when purchased at the store), and because I then know exactly what’s in those little colorful jars of baby food.

This first round of baby food making I chose organic spinach, apples, blueberries, and bananas. I also picked up avocados but they weren’t quite ripe enough so I’ll be blending those up later this weekend.

Spinach isn’t a store-bought baby food option (unless it’s mixed with something else, and getting started that’s not the best idea) but it’s super high in iron which is super important for little ones brain development. After we give it an initial test drive for reactions I will combine it with homemade cereals/grains (which won’t be fortified with iron like store bought varieties are) and probably a sweet fruit to make it a bit more yummy.

Homemade baby food is actually quite simple, if you have the right supplies on hand.

Here’s what I used:

-3 oz baby food cups with lids that are BPA free, freezer and dishwasher safe
-Food Steamer (for this project I used my wok and steaming baskets simply because of the size)
-Food Processor
-Spatula, Cutting Board, Knife

My efforts resulted in 77 oz of baby food in the freezer in less than 2 hours (start to finish, including all clean-up)

Print Recipe
Homemade Baby Food Part 1
Bananas, Apples, Blueberries and Spinach
Instructions
  1. Bananas: Peel bananas and process in food processor. Add liquid of choice (breast milk, formula or water) to reach desired consistency.
  2. Apples: Wash, peel and cut apples into like-size pieces (the smaller the pieces, the more quickly they will cook). Add to steamer and cook for 5-10 minutes, until soft. Allow to cool slightly, then add to food processer and process, adding liquid to reach desired consistency.
  3. Spinach: Rise and drain spinach. Add to steamer and cook for 5'ish minutes, until leaves wilt. Allow to cool slightly, then add to food processer and process, adding liquid to reach desired consistency.
  4. Blueberries: Rinse and drain berries ensuring all leaves from the plant are removed and all berries are in good condition (i.e. no beginnings of mold forming where the berry once connected to the plant). Add to steamer and cook for 5'ish minutes (this softens the skins allowing the berries to process into a smooth texture). Allow to cool slightly, then add to food processer and process, adding liquid to reach desired consistency.
Recipe Notes
  • The final step for each of these foods is:
    • fill freezer safe containers
    • snap lids on tightly, pushing out any air
    • freeze
    • thaw in fridge prior to serving. 
  • There is no firm/hard rule about how much of each fruit/veggie to buy and make. Since you are making a "simply ____" food the amounts will only determine your final yield.
  • Making/freezing individual fruits/veggies will allow you to mix different flavor combinations down the road by simply thawing a couple options and mixing them at the time of serving. For example, once I'm sure we are reaction free with spinach I intend to mix with apples, which I already know he likes and tolerates.